November 24, 2022

Can Satellite Buses Study Mysterious Icy Bodies and the Cosmos?

With our satellites orbiting hundreds to thousands of miles above us, there is no shortage of scientific discoveries. Astronomers have used telescopes on board to gather information on asteroids and comets passing by the Earth. Other scientists have used satellite buses to understand the climate better, monitor volcanic activity, and learn more about the Great Red Spot. There are so many things that are possible with these valuable tools in space.

Let’s continue reading to know if satellite buses can study mysterious icy bodies and the cosmos.

Present Status Related to the Launch of a Satellite Bus for Study

Several satellite buses are being sent to space to study the icy bodies of our solar system and the cosmos. A team of scientists from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, is working on a new project that will allow them to study these bodies in detail. The scientists are part of NASA’s New Frontiers Program, which plans an ambitious mission to explore some of the fascinating objects in our solar system.

The first target for this program is Jupiter’s moon Europa. This moon is covered with water and ice and has an ocean underneath its surface. Scientists believe that Europa could have life forms similar to those found on Earth because it has similar conditions that support life here on Earth: liquid water and sunlight. The researchers hope their mission will help answer questions about whether there is life somewhere else in our solar system.

Scientists also want to know more about how planets form around stars in our galaxy, so they plan to study one of these planets using their satellite system or spacecraft. They want to find out how these planets formed, which could help us understand how our planet formed millions of years ago when there was no life yet.

Future Plans

Scientists plan to send more satellites to space to study the mysterious icy bodies and the cosmos. The satellite bus mission, called the CubeSat Asteroid Survey, will consist of a fleet of small cube-shaped satellites that will be sent into orbit around Earth to collect data on asteroids and other space objects.

The project was announced by NASA on December 12 and is being led by scientists at Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE). The SESE team will be working with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, and several other universities across the country.

The CubeSat Asteroid Survey is part of NASA’s Small Spacecraft Technology Program (SSTP), which aims to develop small spacecraft that can perform useful scientific tasks for less money than larger missions do.

Most CubeSats are about 4 inches long and weigh only a few pounds. The CASS CubeSats will be even smaller — just 2 inches wide, but they will have enough power to study asteroids up close using cameras or other instruments. They would also be able to detect ice on asteroids by measuring their infrared light.

What Will Happen if Satellite Buses Can Study Mysterious Bodies in the Universe?

Satellites are already providing new insights into our universe and the icy objects in space that inhabit it. But what if we could send a satellite bus to study a comet, asteroid, or other icy body in detail?

It would be a game changer for planetary science, allowing us to learn more about these mysterious worlds than ever before.

The European Space Agency (ESA) has partnered with the B612 Foundation on a mission called Sentinel, which aims to send an optical telescope into deep space. In addition to studying objects like comets and asteroids, Sentinel will also look for potential impacts on Earth from these objects and more distant ones in our Solar System.

This kind of technology is essential for protecting Earth from dangerous space rocks that could cause global catastrophes if they hit us.

What Happens to Icy Objects or Ice in Space?

Icy Objects

Icy objects in space are not as simple as you might think. The answer to that question depends on what kind of object it is and its location.

Theoretically, ice can be formed in space when water molecules are exposed to radiation from the Sun or other sources and begin to break apart. Then as these molecules break apart, they become ionized. These ions then bond with other ions to form solid matter. This is how ice is formed in space.

For example, if it’s a solar comet, it will be slowed down by gravitational interactions with the Sun and planets. But if it’s an asteroid in the outer solar system, it will continue moving at the same speed and direction forever.

Icy objects in space, such as comets and asteroids, can be warmed up by the Sun, and the warming may cause them to sublimate (turn directly from solid ice into water vapor without becoming liquid first).

Sublimation can also happen when there is no heat source but a vacuum. Because there is no air pressure, in this case, molecules in the ice cannot hold their shapes and break apart into smaller pieces. This process is called sublimation because it happens without going through a liquid stage.

An icy object in space will eventually turn into a gas giant. The reason for this is that the pressure of the ice will change as it travels through space, causing it to either evaporate or sublimate. Our solar system has three known ice worlds: Pluto, Enceladus, and Europa.

Pluto’s surface is covered by nitrogen ice, which dominates the whole planet’s surface composition. The pressure on Pluto is very low, so this ice can sublimate without turning into gas, and this is what happens to ice in space.

Final Words

Space agencies worldwide have been looking for ways to study mysterious icy bodies and the cosmos, and they’ve found that one of the best ways to do this is by using a satellite bus.

Launching a satellite bus into space allows scientists to observe things happening in remote locations on Earth or other parts of our solar system. These satellites have allowed us to discover new planets, observe weather patterns on other planets and moons, and even look back in time at ancient stars from billions of years ago!

About the author 

Peter Hatch

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