NASA plans to send a nuclear ship to Jupiter

28.05.2004

28.05.2004


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The U.S. space agency NASA plans over the next decade to Jupiter to send an unmanned nuclear ship Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter, is able to provide the amount of research, far surpassing all that has hitherto been done in the vicinity of the giant planet.

Agency sent to three companies — Boeing, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman — the offer to participate in the competition on the apparatus.

Miniature reactor interplanetary probe will provide separation of nuclear facilities for the Navy Department of Energy.

The energy of the reactor will be used to power the on-board equipment and powerful electric rocket engines that will drive not just to reach the giant planet and go into orbit around it, but also fly three large moons of Jupiter — Callisto, Ganymede and Europa.

The machine will be a while in orbit around each of these planets. Then will "weigh anchor" and fly to the next moon. For this probe will need a large supply of traction capabilities.

All three of the Moon could theoretically provide shelter vast oceans that lie beneath their icy shells. The probe is to find them, study the chemical composition of the moons, including the possible organic, surface processes, and, in addition, to scrutinize the Jupiter system, particularly the interaction between him and the atmospheres of moons, as well as their "innards".

27.05.2004

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