Top 5 most spectacular space missions of the future - VIDEO PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 15 January 2015 12:03

In the past, humanity has successfully landed lander on the comet. What new space science lie ahead?

planting of the European unit "Fila" on the surface of a comet, flying at a speed of 135,000 km / h, marked the beginning of a new chapter in space exploration. It will take years before we can realize the scale of the discoveries to be made in the course of this expedition. Meanwhile, scientists are asking the inevitable question - what next?

BBC Future offers you a description of the five most incredible expeditions osuschesvit hope that the space agencies of the world - including a plan to capture an asteroid, immersion in ice-bound ocean on Jupiter's Moon and maybe even fly to distant stars.

Drifting settlements in the atmosphere on Venus

Venus is often called sinister twin sister of the Earth. Planet similar to ours in size but has a toxic atmosphere, acid rain sheds. Nevertheless, the scientific team of the US space agency NASA under the leadership of Jeffrey Landis is exploring the possibility of sending astronauts to orbit Venus for remote control of planetary rovers on the surface. Landis plans are not limited to - in his opinion, people could live inside the balloons drifting in the upper layers of the Venusian atmosphere, of a toxic cloud. At an altitude of about 50 km from the surface of Venus atmospheric pressure and temperature are very similar to those observed in the surface layers of the atmosphere on Earth. Giant balloon filled with air, breathable, will float freely at this height has been reduced due to the pressure difference in the atmosphere of Venus.

Travel by sea on Titan

Weather on Titan - Saturn's largest Moon - is very similar to Earth's, except that the clouds are composed of methane, which, falling on the surface in the form of rain, forming lakes and seas. NASA and the European Congress of Planetary Research (European Planetary Science Congress) independently considering land on the surface of one of these seas floating research unit. For this it is necessary to solve several technical challenges. Firstly, the Titan is covered with a thick layer of clouds, which precludes the use of motors on solar batteries. Accordingly, it is necessary to use nuclear fuel. Secondly, to move through the viscous surface of the sea on Titan require unconventional engine. Perhaps the choice will be made in favor of the worm screw (like a screw in a meat grinder), "The Tempest" liquid medium. However, NASA has suspended work on its program, and the European project is still at an early stage.

Subglacial research on Europe

More promising discoveries may lurk beneath the icy crust of Europe - a satellite of Jupiter. Because of the large distance from the Sun Europe receives very little heat, but it is possible that under the ice is water in the liquid state, fueled by tectonic activity in the bowels of the planet. To reach it, you will need "Cryobot" - a machine capable of using thermal effects work their way through the ice several kilometers thick. NASA is already working on such a device, which is called "Valkyrie." The unit heats water using the vehicle's nuclear power source and directs the jet on the ice, melting it. Then, "Valkyrie" collects melt water and repeat the procedure, gradually moving forward. During the tests in Alaska small-sized prototype overcame eight-kilometer ice thickness throughout the year. As a result, the program has received a major influx of funding for further development of technology. If the expedition will take place for the first time, scientists hope to find life beyond Earth - in their opinion, a warm ocean Europe can be inhabited.

catch asteroid

If landing on a comet is an extremely complex task, NASA program called "Mission to redirect asteroids" (asteroid Redirect Mission) holds the record for ambition. The idea is to capture an asteroid and tow it into lunar orbit, where it landed astronauts to take soil samples. As is the case with the device "Fila", analysis of soil from the asteroid will get new information about the origin of the solar system. In addition, the program is planned to develop protection technology meteorite threat to Earth. NASA has a list of six asteroids, potentially suitable for the purposes of the mission. How it will be captured celestial body has not yet decided; among the options under consideration - the use of a giant inflatable container, which will put the asteroid. If all goes according to plan, NASA predicts, the program will be implemented over the next 15 years.

interstellar flight

Mezhzvednye travel may yet seem tales for children. But only as long as
If the expedition within the solar system is not too impress you, then how about a flight to Alpha Centauri? If the "Centennial spaceship" (100 Year starship) - a joint project of NASA and the Agency for Defense Advanced Research Projects United States (DARPA) will get the green light, perhaps, mankind will go to the closest star to us outside of the solar system during the life of the current newborns. At least, project managers rely on the creation of the necessary technology for interstellar flight in the next 100 years - such as the engine that runs on antimatter. You will also need to think about the measures to prevent the effects of a long stay in space for the human body. Given the current level of science, the chances of success of the mission are presented void. On the other hand, 150 years ago, Jules Verne's novel, which tells about the flight to the Moon, too, must have seemed to his contemporaries only by imagination - in those days there was not even flying machines heavier than air. So the plot fresh fiction film by Christopher Nolan "Interstellar" may not be so far away from reality.

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