NASA Seeks Ideas For Affordable Missions To Europa
This week the agency put out a Request for Information in hopes of attracting creative thinkers who can help them "achieve the most science at minimum cost."
Kecia Lynn has worked as a technical writer, editor, software developer, arts administrator, summer camp director, and television host. A graduate of Case Western Reserve University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she is currently living in Iowa City and working on her first novel.
What's the Latest Development?
On Monday (April 28) NASA announced that it's looking for ideas on how to visit Jupiter's moon Europa -- considered by some to be the nearest likely candidate for hosting life due largely to the presence of liquid water beneath its surface -- for less than US$1 billion (minus the launch vehicle). Science Mission Directorate associate administrator John Grunsfeld says that the focus on Europa "has stimulated not only scientific interest but also the ingenuity of engineers and scientists with innovative concepts." Interested researchers and teams have until May 30 to respond to the agency's official Request for Information (RFI).
What's the Big Idea?
The recent detection of water vapor erupting from the moon's southern polar area has only intensified interest in exploration missions. NASA has already come up with several possible concepts, all of them unofficial, but they've received money from Congress -- $80 million from the 2014 budget and another $15 million in the 2015 budget request -- to continue their research. Now, says Grunsfeld, they're hoping for some extra assistance "on how we can achieve the most science at minimum cost."
Photo Credit: Galileo Project/JPL/NASA
New research links urban planning and political polarization.
- Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
- Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
- People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.
- Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
- What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
- Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
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