42 votes
Accepted

Can a spaceship land on an icy body using retropropulsion? wouldn't the ice melt?

Sorry for the length of this, but it brings up some interesting facts and possibilities. The moons you mention, Titan, Europa, and Enceladus, are three very different places. Titan has a relatively ...
Tom Spilker's user avatar
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32 votes

Why aren't there any robotic missions on Europa or Enceladus?

ThereĀ are probably many answers, but for guesstimating hypothetical missions a look at delta-V/subway maps like this are highly informative in terms of problem scale. Working from that getting into ...
GremlinWranger's user avatar
23 votes
Accepted

Why aren't there any robotic missions on Europa or Enceladus?

@GremlinWrangler's answer sums up several important points; Getting a low mass rover from Earth all the way to landing on the surface of one of those Moons requires much much more rocketry (delta-v) ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
19 votes

Can a spaceship land on an icy body using retropropulsion? wouldn't the ice melt?

It's probably going to be less of a concern than you'd guess. The icy worlds of our solar system have essentially no atmosphere, so the surface materials will sublimate directly to vapor and be ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
8 votes

Why aren't there any robotic missions on Europa or Enceladus?

The motive for the exploration of Enceladus and Europa is different from that of Mars. The primary motive for exploration of the two moons is the possibility of finding an independent instance of ...
Vince 49's user avatar
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6 votes
Accepted

With so little gravity, would swimming on Enceladus be feasible for humans?

Sure. Whatever the pressure-based limit is, they can dive proportionally deeper by the amount that the gravitational acceleration is less. For Enceladus, that would be 87 times deeper. The pressure is ...
Mark Adler's user avatar
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5 votes
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Is it possible to send a CubeSat to Saturn/Enceladus?

Unlikely The problem with sending a cubesat to Saturn is power. A cubesat isn't large enough to carry a nuclear thermal generator, and almost certainly not large enough to carry enough solar cells to ...
Dan Hanson's user avatar
  • 2,218
4 votes

Piggybacking to Enceladus

The key to navigation when in Saturn's moon system is Titan. Cassini flew by a vast numbers of targets while barely spending any fuel. This was accomplished by a gravity assist scheme where the key ...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

How is salt transported from the subsurface ocean and ejected with the plumes of water from Enceladus?

The larger ice grains in the plumes came directly from the water of the sub-ice ocean. Those grains were not condensed to solid particles from the cooling of water vapor flowing up the fissures in the ...
Tom Spilker's user avatar
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3 votes
Accepted

Is the available imagery of Europa and Enceladus enough to develop surface missions there?

Do the current (or soon to be obtained) surface maps of those bodies have a spatial resolution that is high enough to enable the development of lander & robotic missions to those destinations? ...
David Hammen's user avatar
  • 74.8k
3 votes

Why aren't there any robotic missions on Europa or Enceladus?

This is a late answer, but ... Budget wise I believe the missions would cost the same as that of Mars. You have grossly underestimated the cost of a Europa lander. The increased delta V needed to ...
David Hammen's user avatar
  • 74.8k
2 votes
Accepted

Tradeoffs to consider for OBDH system design for a Multi-Spectral Imager payload? (Enceladus Mission)

What could be the complete internal architecture of my payload's OBDH system? I would use a Raspberry Pi model 3b+, connected to a camera module. You may run the latest version of Raspbian (a Linux ...
user96931's user avatar
  • 136
2 votes
Accepted

How old is the underground lake on Enceladus?

I'm assuming you mean the underground ocean, as only Titan and Earth have actual lakes. It's really hard to know the age of a geological feature, especially with limited opportunity to study it ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
  • 121k
2 votes

What does flying in Enceladus's plume accomplish?

An update on the measurement's "accomplishments". The data gleaned from the analysis of the plume chemistry suggests not only a renewable source of energy for potential microorganisms in Enceladus' ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
2 votes

Will Enceladus run out of water due to it being lost to space?

No. The approximate escape rate of water on Enceladus to space is $\rm \dot{m}_{\rm H2O}\approx 5000\; g\;s^{-1}$ (ref, with a factor 10 uncertainty in that number). Ganymedes icy mass $\rm m_{H2O}$, ...
AtmosphericPrisonEscape's user avatar
1 vote

Is it possible to send a CubeSat to Saturn/Enceladus?

Yes it is not easy, but not impossible. This answer addresses the communications issues mentioned in comments. The MarCO cubesats actually served as communications links between a spacecraft landing ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
1 vote

How old is the underground lake on Enceladus?

It might be that the 100-million-years estimate is much closer than the billions-of-years estimate. Luciano Iess and his team are in the process of publishing a paper about the mass of Saturn's rings,...
Tom Spilker's user avatar
  • 18.3k

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