The space science community
thinks the time is ripe to study Uranus in depth — and they’re being serious.
Scientists from across the US
says that sending an interplanetary probe to study the ice giant planet should be considered the top priority for planetary exploration over the next decade.
Scientists are calling on NASA
to create the Uranus Orbiter and Probe, or UOP. The mission concept would send a spacecraft into orbit around Uranus
such a mission launching sometime in the early 2030s as long as engineers get started on it as soon as next year.
The only spacecraft to ever
visit Uranus was NASA’s Voyager 2 mission, which flew by the planet in 1986, coming within 50,700 miles of the planet’s cloud tops.
Voyager 2 unlocked some
intriguing secrets about Uranus, discovering new moons and rings around the planet. But Voyager 2 didn’t stay for long