Ryan Ham

Year: 2015-16

Target: Jupiter

"The exorbitant costs of space exploration makes it key for scientists to prioritize studying targets that will give society practical benefits. The most important projects conducted by NASA have brought have had many positive impacts on society in addition to helping us better understand the solar system. The Cassini Project has great potential to bring even more benefits to society and it is vital for scientists to pick the proper target for it focus on.

Jupiter's atmosphere remains mysterious to scientists and further analyzing it will certainly allow us to better understand Earth's own atmosphere as well. Callisto's potential as a suitable candidate for a human base in the future makes it an ideal candidate for further analysis. The Cassini Project would be best served by analyzing Jupiter because of its immense potential to better understand our own planet now and the rest of the solar system in the future.

Analyzing the weather patterns on Jupiter will enable scientists to better understand the Jupiter's atmosphere as well improving our understanding Earth's own weather patterns as well. For example, scientists still have many unanswered questions about The Great Red Spot, which is so large that it actually almost defies our current understanding about the laws of physics. By using the Cassini-Huygens satellite to closely analyze this and Jupiter's atmosphere, scientists can better understand Earth's weather patterns. Analyzing Jupiter's atmosphere will help us better understand our own planet.

When making decisions about which target the Cassini-Huygens satellite should focus on next, it is important to keep perspective on how its discoveries now may benefit space exploration in the future. Even though some may consider that establishing human colonies on distant moons is ridiculous, this may actually end up being crucial to the survival of the human race. Callisto's atmosphere and its low radiation levels allow it to be a more suitable candidate for colonization compared to any of Jupiter's other moons. Even if colonization will not happen anytime soon and is thus unnecessary now, a base on Callisto could be a refueling station for further expeditions. By using the Cassini-Huygens satellite to study Jupiter and its surrounding areas, scientists will be greatly benefited because they will also better understand the Callisto's nature and its potential for being a productive base in the future.

Jupiter and its moons are a more suitable target for further analysis compared to the other candidates because of both its immediate and future practical benefits for scientists. While studying Jupiter will better our understanding of our own planet, Targets 1 and 2 do not have as much potential to do so. These targets only serve to satiate the curiosity of scientists and the satellite would be better served by focusing on a closer target. This is due to its proximity to Earth and its more immediate potential for human colonization and should be studied more thoroughly first."

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