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Guests: John Batchelor, Doug Messier, Dr. David Livingston. Topics: Europa Clipper Mission delays, SLS, commercial launch options and more.
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John Batchelor and I welcomed back Doug Messier, Managing Editor of Parabolic Arc, to discuss the delays now facing the Europa Clipper Mission due to SLS booster delays. Check out Doug's story on this issue dated May 9, 2020 at www.parabolicarc.com/2020/05/09/europa-clipper-faces-delay-due-to-sls-booster-decision/#:~:text=The%20cost%20estimate%20assumes%20that,a%20SLS%20in%20September%202025.
Doug, John, and I covered many related topics to the Europa Clipper delay including SLS booster delays, the use of commercial launch options including the Delta 4 Heavy or the Falcon Heavy and what those rockets would mean for payload, Europa travel times, and mission costs. Doug talked about mission planning delays, the congressional insistence that this mission be flown using the SLS and why the mission might end up in a two year costly storage facility due to SLS delays until the projected September 25th date yet the mission was moved up to 2024. We talked deleting some instruments from the package due to cost, also the advantages of using either the Delta 4 Heavy of Falcon Heavy resulting in longer travel times but with lower launch costs plus being available for 2024.
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