Planet Uranus with its rings taken from the Chandra X-ray Telescope
©NASA/CXO/University College London/W. Dunn et al.
Every ten years the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine a reportat any The best strategy for space exploration It is set for the next decade. In the latest report, covering the years 2023 to 2032, scientific advisors recommended the exploration of a variety of targets in space. According to them, the top priority for new large missions should be to send an orbiter and a lander probe to Uranus.
Storms and magnetism
The report states that “Uranus is one of the most amazing bodies in the solar system.” Its low internal energy, active atmospheric dynamics and a complex magnetic field make the planet an ideal target for an unmanned space mission. ‘Ice Giant’ has one Max axle tilt reach and own Multiple rings and moons. It is possible that it was all caused by the giant impact long ago, but this is not certain.
Only Voyager 2 was there
With a space probe and a landing probe, the properties of Uranus can be better explored. So far, only the spacecraft Voyager 2 Closer to the planet. It has in flight 1986 surprise too geological activities Found on the moons of Uranus. Maybe even them liquid water Present. A spacecraft can be launched to Uranus using existing launch vehicles and travel by Jupiter’s gravity for Swing by maneuvering use.
Saturn’s moon is in second place
By the way, the second highest priority for scientific advisors on large space missions is a mission to Saturn’s moon Enceladus. With its liquid surroundings under the solid crust and regular discharges of gas and particles, the Moon is a place in the Solar System where maybe life It could have formed.
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