Aloha – I’m still fascinated with the current missions to Pluto and to Ceres, but I ran across this story that made me smile. The link is below if you’d like to read it. The article discusses five missions that were proposed, but never passed muster. The first that I’m noting was a proposal to send a probe to student the methane seas on Titan (moon of Saturn). This one still has some hope, but got cut in 2012. There is another possible version now suggesting that we send a submarine to Titan. But that idea also tanked for the present.
Another proposal that didn’t find a home was a probe to Alpha Centauri. This is one of the nearest stars to our system. The main problem with this proposal, abandoned in the 1980s was the length of time to gathering data. It would have taken a hundred years to get there, and then 4 or more years for data to begin pouring back in. Imagine the technology changes since the 1980s and contemplate how frustrating the 1980s technology would be just 35 years later. Hmmm..
There was also a manned mission to conduct flybys of Mars and Venus. Based on today’s technology I’m not sure what that sight seeing expedition hoped to accomplish. I can see boots on the ground having more flexibility than even the really cool rovers we’ve sent to Mars, but for a flyby?
In the 1970s, hot on the success of Apollo, there were plans afoot to build space stations to house complete colonies. The artist’s concept drawing looks hauntingly like the station to which the protagonist returns in the recent movie, Interstellar.
Finally, back in the 60s, GM designed a combination ATV, RV for explorers on the Moon to truck around in and live in for several weeks.
For more information check out http://www.vox.com/2015/2/22/8077449/nasa-colony-missions