The same Nas report recommends a Nasa mission to Enceladus
, Saturn's icy moon Ntv.de
as it probably has a warm subsurface ocean where life might exist.
Alas, old-fashioned flame propulsion lets launch windows begin in 2037
, supposedly for Jupiter's gravitational assistance. The trip adds over 5 years. Hey, not everyone is young and patient!The sunheat engine improves that radically
. I didn't check a mission optimized for Enceladus, but a mission to all equatorial moons of Saturn arrives at Enceladus (spelled "Encelade") with 1203kg scienceforums
and previous message
As the mission uses no flyby at Jupiter, my script can launch at any year
The script for Earth escape improved on Jul 27, 2014
. Launching with an Atlas V plus sunheat, flame and sunheat propulsion puts 7031kg in 5+ years transit to Saturn while the older script wanted a Delta IV heavy to send 4944kg in transit. Scaling by 7031/4944, the cheaper Atlas V puts a 1711kg craft in Enceladus orbit, or 2091kg
if affording a Delta IV heavy or a Falcon 9 heavy. Gravitational assistance from Venus, Earth, maybe Titan, would improve the mass further at limited delay. Targeting only Enceladus must save some mass too.
Beyond the spared time, the comfortable mass lets imagine a more ambitious mission. For instance, a dozen landers making a deep portrait of Enceladus by seismology
, passive and active. A heavier radar is more capable too. The solar concentrators can also power a hydrogen gun and a sunlight-pumped laser to analyse Enceladus' surface from the orbit, a sunlight-pumped laser for data transmissions, better solar panels, and serve as big antennas.