Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Paul Schenk on the OP Flagship Selection

Paul Schenk, a planetary scientist from the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas, has a nice post on with his thoughts on last week's EJSM selection. I agree with what he said there, for a lot of planetary scientists, there is a lot that can be done in the Jupiter system, and as he mentions, in the wake of Galileo's successful failure, there is a lot that needs to be done in terms of Jupiter science.

For those who would have preferred the Titan mission, come on, you got EIGHT more years to hopefully look forward to from Cassini. Check out John Spencer's post on the Planetary Society Blog for more info on all the craziness that will happen with Cassini during its Extended-extended mission. The XXM includes 56 flybys of Titan and 12 flybys of Enceladus. I mean, that's more than we have done up to this point. To be honest, I also get excited about the flybys of the little rocks. Maybe it is the excitement of seeing a new world upclose that I've kinda lost from seeing Titan, Dione, Enceladus, etc. images all the time. We got a flyby of the small moon Helene coming up next March during the first extended mission, and during the XXM we have another one of Helene (providing coverage of the unilluminated hemisphere from the first Helene flyby) as well as flybys of Telesto and Methone. So while Titan will not get a flagship mission until the 2025-2035 time frame, the next decade will still be a great time to do Saturn system research.

Right above Paul's post over at UMSF, Ted Stryk posted his version of a partial color frame from Galileo's I27 flyby showing Pillan, Reiden, and parts of the Pele plume deposit. I should probably process my own version of that. That is definitely on my To-do list for tomorrow evening.

Link: Paul Schenk's post at []

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