I was going to post a snarky comment about backronyms...
... but you beat me to it in the article
DAVINCI is a fine example of the art though.
NASA's scheme for reasonably priced space probes, the Discovery programme, has issued a new short list of ideas for its next economical science-shot. The idea is to choose a cunning lightweight mission which can be ready to go in no more than a few years, and get it out into space before it can snowball into a budgetary …
Ditto. Learning more about Venus would be my ideal number one, but not like that. Come up with a better approach than crash-and-burn, blink-and-you'll-miss-it, and I'll vote for it.
Call me weird, but I quite like all those plucky little probe and rover missions that drag on and on and refuse to die that we've been seeing of late.
ANY of these missions would be scientific wins in one way or another, but I'd like to know more about the asteroid belt. The Jupiter Trojans are possibly less chaotic in their movement and interaction with each other, thereby making them safer to study. One presumes at least some (if not all) of the Jupiter Trojans are likely asteroid belt objects pulled into Jupiter's orbit by the passing mass of our largest planet. Perhaps, in addition to clues about our system's history, studying these Trojans will show us some heretofore undiscovered or misunderstood effect of gravity and system dynamics. THAT could be extremely useful knowledge if/when we finally get out and about in the neighborhood.
But it needs more than cameras - perhaps something in the multiple megaton range, or perhaps Bruce Willis and a bunch of mining engineers?
Sure, it'll be nice to see the object before it destroys all life on Earth, but perhaps the ability to do something about it would be a nice bonus...?
Was thinking about choosing one of the Venus ones but the naked asteroid sounds intriguing since we'd get to see the inside of a planet - wow!
Maybe people don't like Venus because you can't see its surface.
We need a Venus rover like the one in The Six Million Dollar Man. I'd definitely vote for that!
I'm not fussed by it because we can't use it for anything in the distant or near future. We can use the asteroid belt, we can use knowledge about Jupiter's trojan points Knowledge about Venus gets us no closer to conquering the solar system and expanding human activity beyond earth.
Allegedly the decision of Grundig boss when shown prototypes of new radios and had to pick one, in 1950s.
I mean USA, under 12% of world's population, rich, world's leading super power consuming nearly 75% of many resources and they can only do ONE cheap quick project?
I'd also like to see a pair, or better yet trio of optical telescopes with good pointing accuracy but not necessarily huge diameter put into orbits at least as far out as Mars so that they can get a better fix on the distances to nearby stars. Equip them with radio aerials and engage in some very long base-line interferometry.
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