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How NASA Mission Designers Invent Futuristic Spacecraft

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 Astronomy   |   Science
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From journeying to distant worlds to catching asteroids, this NASA conceptual design team turns the spacecraft of your dreams into reality.

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After the probe (called the Triton Hopper) lands on Triton, it would use radioactive isotopes to heat ice that it mined from the moon to drive rocket-powered jumps up to a kilometer high and five kilometers long. Steven Oleson, the principal investigator on the Triton Hopper, says the probe has the potential to explore a large portion of the moon's surface. "We want to go from the equator to the pole."

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https://www.popularmechanics.com/space/a25603541/compass-nasa-tunnelbot-worm-europa/
While the Europa Clipper's launch is TBD, scientists are already working on the big problem of getting through all that ice to see what's below. Working with NASA, a team of scientists have proposed a solution: a nuclear-powered tunneling robot.

NASA Space Submarine Could Explore Titan's Methane Seas
https://www.space.com/28589-titan-submarine-robotic-saturn-ship.html
The extraterrestrial seas of Titan, Saturn's largest moon, provide an ideal world for a robotic submarine to explore, and a team of scientists is working on an innovative mission concept that could make that vision a reality.

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