By: Kara Gilmour - Staff Writer
Published: May 14, 2021

NASA Next Mission

NASA Next Mission - A space exploration mission is still the big focus for the agency. The next project could be to send a new lander to Mars, send a robotic visitor to a comet, or send a ship to float in the oceans of Titan. NASA will pick one winner of these three projects.

NASA’s next mission will be capped at $425 million, not including the price of launch. First on the table is the Mars Geophysical Monitoring Station, or GEMS, which will study the planet’s interior structure. It would carry three primary instruments, which would measure the planet’s wobble, marsquakes and geothermal heat flow.

NASA says the mission could provide new information about the formation of rocky planets.

Next up is Comet Hopper, which will do just what it sounds like and alight briefly on a comet several times, observing how it changes as it interacts with the sun. Previous probes have already visited comets, smash wrecking balls into them and take their pictures, but this would study comets’ natural evolution.

And finally there’s the Titan Mare Explorer, TiME, which will float on one of the Saturnian moon’s massive oceans. It would be the second lander to alight on the moon after the Huygens probe, but the first to study an extraterrestrial body of water. It would study the methane-ethane oceans, possibly looking for any methane-eating inhabitants. It could also tell us whether Titan has a soggy interior, as some recently crunched Cassini data suggests.


Space NewsSpace News Stay ConnectedStay Connected

Add our Facebook page to receive updates and participate in new tools and features.Add our Facebook page to receive updates and participate in new tools and features. It's a great way to stay connected with all the latest news.

Receive daily bite-sized updates by following us at Twitter.Receive daily bite-sized updates by following us on Twitter. Receive Tweet-sized 140-character updates on your mobile phone device or PC.

Subscribe to our daily RSS feed to get the latest national news stories.Subscribe to our daily RSS feed to get the latest national news stories. We offer a feed for every topic including business, entertainment, health, politics, science & technology, travel and more.