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Names Europa Lander (2009—2011)
Mission type Reconnaissance by orbiter and lander
Operator Roscosmos
Mission duration ≥ 10 years
Spacecraft properties
Launch mass orbiter: 4,000 kg (8,800 lb)
lander: 950 kg (2,090 lb)[1]
Dry mass orbiter: 2,260 kg (4,980 lb)
lander: 550 kg (1,210 lb)
Payload mass orbiter: 50 kg (110 lb)
lander: 60 kg (130 lb) [1]
Start of mission
Launch date 2026 (proposed)[2]
Orbital parameters
PeriJovian 900,000 km (560,000 mi)
ApoJovian 20,000,000 km (12,000,000 mi)
Period 200 days
Ganymede lander
Landing date 2030 (proposed)

Laplace-P (formerly called Europa Lander[1]) is a proposed orbiter and lander by the Russian Federal Space Agency designed to study the Jovian moon system and explore Ganymede with a lander.

Russia has expressed an interest in flying their lander with the Jupiter Icy Moon Explorer (JUICE) in 2022, but as yet the current Laplace-P concept is for a separate orbiter and lander to be launched by two separate rockets in 2023, if the mission is launched.[1][3]

History[edit | hide | hide all]

The Europa Lander would have been launched in 2020s as part of the Europa Jupiter System Mission proposed in 2007 by the ESA, that would have studied the Jovian moon system as well as the planet Jupiter. The orbiter would have done several flybys of other Jovian moons before being placed in orbit around Europa.[4] The lander would have researched the ocean underneath the ice sheet of Europa.[5] However, to avoid the damaging effects of Jupiter's radiation belts, the destination of the lander was switched in 2011 from Europa to Ganymede.[1] Ganymede is the largest moon in the Solar System and has an internal ocean that may contain more water than all of Earth's oceans together.[6][7][8]

The orbiter would perform 13 flybys of Ganymede, and 4 flybys of Callisto and carry up to 50 kg (110 lb) of scientific instruments, while the Europa lander would have carried up to 70 kg (150 lb) of scientific instruments.[9][10]

Concept[edit | hide]

Artist's cut-away representation of the internal structure of Ganymede. Layers drawn to scale.

Laplace-P would be a dual mission featuring an orbiter and a lander launched by two separate rockets toward Jupiter. One spacecraft would orbit the moon Ganymede, while the lander would perform a soft landing on its surface.[1][11] The "P" in Laplace-P stands for "posadka" (landing).

The planned trajectory is to use the VEEGA (Venus-Earth-Earth Gravity Assist) route.[12] Both spacecraft would be carrying about 50 kg (110 lb) of scientific instruments each.[1] The lander would be powered by an RTG, while the orbiter would be equipped either with an RTG or with solar panels.[1] If the lander flies with JUICE, then the Russian orbiter would be omitted due to JUICE filling its role.

The radiation conditions on the Ganymede surface are fairly benign. On the other hand, the Ganymedean gravitational parameter (GM = 9887.8 km3/s2) makes the landing on it from the orbit more difficult than in the case of Europa.[12]

See also[edit | hide]

References[edit | hide]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 "Russia funds a proposal to land on Jupiter's moon Ganymede". Russianspaceweb. Archived from the original on July 30, 2015. Retrieved August 11, 2016. 
  2. "РФ планирует доставить свои исследовательские аппараты к Юпитеру к 2032 году" (in Russian). TASS. 5 July 2016. Retrieved 2017-01-08. 
  3. Clark, Stephen (June 19, 2013). "Russia may land probe on Jupiter's moon Ganymede with Europe's JUICE Mission". Retrieved August 25, 2015. 
  4. L. Zelenyi; et al. (2009). "Europa Lander: Mission Concept and Science Goals" (PDF). 4. European Planetary Science Congress. EPSC2009-615-1. 
  5. K.P. Hand (February 9–13, 2009). "Report on the Europa Lander Workshop" (PDF). 
  6. Staff (March 12, 2015). "NASA's Hubble Observations Suggest Underground Ocean on Jupiter's Largest Moon". NASA News. Retrieved 2015-03-15. 
  7. "Jupiter moon Ganymede could have ocean with more water than Earth – NASA". Russia Today (RT). 13 March 2015. Retrieved 2015-03-13. 
  8. Clavin, Whitney (1 May 2014). "Ganymede May Harbor 'Club Sandwich' of Oceans and Ice". NASA. Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 2014-05-01. 
  9. International Workshop "Europa lander: science goals and experiments". 9–13 February 2009.
  10. International Workshop “Europa lander: science goals and experiments” (9–13 February 2009) [announcement]
  11. Golubev, Yu. F.; Grushevskii, A. V.; Koryanov, V. V.; Tuchin, A. G. (May 2014). "Gravity assist maneuvers of a spacecraft in Jupiter system". Journal of Computer and Systems Sciences International. 53 (3): 445–463. doi:10.1134/S1064230714030083. ISSN 1555-6530. Retrieved 2015-08-08. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 Grushevskii, A. V.; Golubev, Yu.F.; Koryanov, V.V.; Tuchin, A. G. "TO THE ADAPTIVE MULTIBODY GRAVITY ASSIST TOURS DESIGN IN JOVIAN SYSTEM FOR THE GANYMEDE LANDING" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-03-09. 
This article uses material from Laplace-P on Wikipedia (view authors). License under CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikipedia logo
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