NASA Urged to Explore Uranus

Thomas S, Columnist

Children have been memorizing the planets in order since kindergarten: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, and so on. Uranus is one of them. However, the planet has barely been scratched by NASA. The planet is known as an “ice giant” and is the seventh in our Solar System only having been visited once before in 1986. Therefore, “NASA has been urged to launch the first mission to giant Uranus, in a report by the National Academy of Sciences, outlining space priorities for the next decade,” says Ryan Morrison, a writer for Daily Mail.

“Every ten years, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine [NASEM] gathers a group of space experts and asks them to reach a consensus on how NASA should apply its budget in the field of planetary science and defense,” says Morrison. This year NASEM has pushed NASA to explore Uranus. The report calls Uranus one of the most intriguing bodies in the solar system and studying this planet will improve the world’s understanding of ice giants generally.

The Orbilander is going to be the rover to explore Uranus. “The Orbilander would search for evidence of life on Enceladus from orbit and during a two-year landed mission that would perform detailed studies of fresh plume material originating from Enceladus’ interior ocean,” says Marrison. The Orbilander is the second-highest priority mission flagged in the report. For the first time, the report also recommended that NASA and other agencies prioritize planetary defense by detecting and tracking objects that pose a threat to life on Earth, saying this proposal was “more concerned with human health and safety rather than the advancement of scientific understanding.”

With more planets and stars being discovered in the far reaches of space, s the need for these exploratory missions is growing. In the vast, galaxy and universe beyond that Earth calls home, there are many more things that have been unexplored. Uranus is one of those unexplored entities. The Orbilander will be the future of scientific discovery. Uranus is the next big step.




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