A forgotten planet? After years, scientists want to send a NASA sonar to Uranus; understand why – Época Negócios

Image of the planet Uranus taken from the Voyager 2 spacecraft on January 14, 1986 at a distance of approximately 12.7 million kilometers (Image: NASA / JPL)

Scientists consider it one of the strangest planets in the world solar system, Uranus has not yet received an exploratory spacecraft. Now it’s changing. New edition of the report Origins, Worlds and Life: A Decade Strategy for Planetary Science and Astrobiology 2023-2032which is published every ten years to guide research work astronomy and astrobiology made the sending of a space probe to Uranus a top priority.

“The Committee will prioritize Uranus Orbiter and Probea (UOP) as a priority new start-up mission in the decade 2023-2032,” the Committee of National Academies of Science, Technology, and Medicine of the United States wrote. The research is carried out by the Academy at the request of the Academy NASA.

The sonar would make a multi-year orbit to Uranus to study its atmosphere. The mission could provide information about “ice giants,” such as Uranus, as well as information about the planet and its moons. The study identified several publication windows in the 2030s, the first of which was in 2031.

The report’s recommendation does not mean that the task will be accomplished, but it does confirm its importance in the field of research. According to the Science Alert article, the cost of Uranus’ mission could be more than $ 4 billion.

Other recommendations in the report include continuing the return journey of the sample to Mars; Restoring the Mars Research Program; ongoing support for lunar research; and, for the first time, improving NASA’s program to find and track asteroids that would pose a threat to life on Earth.

Why is Uranus considered different?

Uranus is the only planet in the solar system that is tilted to the side, so its axis of rotation is almost parallel to the plane of its orbit. It also “leaks”, meaning its magnetic field is unbalanced, according to researchers. In addition, it has tires and would emit X-rays.

All of this, the committee noted, suggests that Uranus deserves significant research, not just for its own sake, but to better understand the Evolutionary History of the entire solar system. The latest sonar to approach the planet was Voyager 2, which was in flight in 1986.

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