Size does matter in space exploration: smaller might be way better

There are more than one-hundred sizable objects in our solar system with ice or liquid water, each reachable and explorable with present day technology

There are more than one-hundred sizable objects in our solar system, many of them with ice or liquid water, including planets, moons, asteroids, and KBOs, each reachable and explorable with present day technology

Small probes the size of a human hand or smaller could be a big help to planetary exploration. Moore’s Law and tightening budgets could team up to make that technological leap sooner rather than later. In particular, small probes packed with microelectronics and advanced software capable of learning on the alien spot might bring the deep subcyrosphere of moons like Europa or Saturn’s Dionne under scrutiny: [Read more...]

Fascinating ideas on the history of Titan and Saturn

Look at Jupiter and you see a mini solar system right down to quasi-analogues of the planets, even a hint of scattered disk and Kuiper Belt objects. But look at Saturn and you see one large Jovian like moon, a hell of a lot of beat to shit frozen moonlets, and billions of icy shards.  The systems surrounding these two planets clearly diverged, violently by the look of it. Now some planetary scientists think they have an idea how it went down out Saturn’s way: [Read more...]