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UK Plans Close Encounter With Uranus

3 Jan 2011, 21:31 UTC
UK Plans Close Encounter With Uranus
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For those of you lamenting over the lack of attention Uranus is receiving (note: keep the comment section space related folks!) when compared to Saturn, it looks like the British are attempting to mimic Cassini’s success by sending a spacecraft to the distant gas giant.Uranus Pathfinder is a developing mission concept aimed at sending a spacecraft to the planet Uranus. This mission would perform the first detailed study of an ice giant planetary system which would fill the gaps in our understanding of the formation of the solar system, and the physical processes in the interiors and atmospheres of ice giants. [...]All the major components of the solar system are being actively explored in situ by spacecraft apart from the ice giant planets Uranus and Neptune. Yet the ice giants are an important and essentially unknown part of the solar system, they have a unique place in planet formation, and are crucial in understanding exoplanetary systems (UCL: Uranus Pathfinder)Although not exactly the most fascinating gas giant known to humanity, Uranus could in the distant future help fuel humanities travels throughout our star system without having to rely too heavily upon nuclear power.But before we can dream about encountering this lopsided ...

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