Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Flagship Mission Selection Still Not Announced

Presumably a lot of you are coming here to check on which target, Titan or Europa, was selected for the next Outer Planets Flagship Mission. Despite the fact that the Downselection meeting was supposed to have taken place last Thursday, as of the time of this post, still no word yet on the outcome of that meeting. Not sure what the delay is all about, so hopefully it will be announced in the next few days.

Looking at the calender, there is an Outer Planets Assessment Group (OPAG) meeting on March 9 and 10 in Bethesda, Maryland. OPAG is a committee that advises NASA's Planetary Science Sub-Committee (PSS) on issues related to the exploration of the outer solar system. Presumably, the downselection panel's findings should be announced before that meeting. So that's taking a look at a worst-case scenario for those (like me) who are waiting quite impatiently.

In the mean time, check out this piece of Europan propaganda, I mean this informative video on Europa (stupid...alliance, the video makes fun of Io...must destroy...). Anyways, sorry there, Dr. Strangelove moment... Check out this video on Youtube from the Discovery channel. Still, that guy called Io ugly!!!

Also, don't forget to check out Van Kane's discussion of the Titan Montgolfière and lake lander over at his Future Planetary Exploration blog.

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