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NASA told about the plans to send a mission to Uranus

To date, all planets of the Solar system remain the least studied Uranus and Neptune by them only once flew a research probe. However, in the coming decades, the American space Agency NASA plans to change that. As stated by the representative of the Agency Amy Simon, in the course of those missions is to know better than the ice giants differ from the gas.

Photo: NASA

Uranus and Neptune — the farthest planet from the Sun within its orbit. In its size and structure, they differ significantly both from earth-type planets — mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars and the gas giants, Jupiter and Saturn. The diameter of both the ice giant, about four times more than Earth, and almost three times less than that of Jupiter. If gas giants are composed mainly of hydrogen and helium, in ice metallic hydrogen is virtually non-existent and they consist, primarily, of such substances as water, ammonia, methane, hydrogen sulfide and rock.

The only spacecraft to date, flying past Uranus and Neptune, today is “Voyager 2”, launched 20 August 1977 . Uranium he reached in January 1986, and during convergence sent to Earth thousands of images, enabling, in particular, to discover two new rings of this planet (in addition to the nine already known) and eleven new satellites. About the Uranium found out that at both poles of Uranus, the temperature was about the same, although only one of them illuminated by the Sun. In all probability it indicates the presence of the mechanism of heat transfer from one part of the planet to another.

The rapprochement with Neptune was in August 1989, during a rendezvous on one of its moons, Triton, was discovered active geysers — the scientists did not expect to see such in as much distance from the Sun.

However, no mission, during which it was planned would “purposefully” to study Neptune or Uranus still was not running, while in orbit around Saturn now running the probe “Cassini”, the mission of which will soon be completed, and the orbit of Jupiter, in the past year, the probe “Yunona”.

According to Amy Simon, for Uranium for the foreseeable future will have four missions, three of which are planned to send to the ice giant orbiting spacecraft, and the fourth to make it fly. If circumstances develop favorably, the spacecraft to Uranus will be directed already in 2034. As for Neptune, his study at close range, in all probability, will have to wait, at least until 2041, since, if the probe start in the 30-ies, he will not be able to make the gravity assist necessary to achieve the most distant planet from the Sun.

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