The Jupiter System!
This morning, NASA HQ announced the decision to proceed with the EJSM over the Titan option. You can read the announcement press release over at NASA's website. As to the why, predictably it came down to technological readiness:
NASA and ESA engineers and scientists carefully studied both potential missions in preparation for last week's meeting. Based on these and other studies as well as stringent independent assessment reviews, NASA and ESA agreed that the Europa Jupiter System Mission, called Laplace in Europe, was the most technically feasible to do first. However, ESA's Solar System Working Group concluded the scientific merits of this mission and a Titan Saturn System Mission could not be separated. The group recommended, and NASA agreed, that both missions should move forward for further study and implementation.Basically, they felt the Europa mission is ready to fly now, but the Titan mission should not just be shelved, so look for the Titan people to make a big push during the next flagship mission opportunity.
I will have more in a few hours. In the mean time, for more analysis on the EJSM, check out the Flagship Mission section of this blog.
Tip of the hat to Van Kane.
Link: NASA and ESA Prioritize Outer Planet Missions [www.nasa.gov]