Systems Engineering Seminar

Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter Mission
With an update on Project Prometheus

Presented by:
Raynor Taylor/ NASA Headquarters, Code S

March 4, 2003, 1:00 p.m.
Building 3 Auditorium

Overview of the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter mission with an update on Project Prometheus.

Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter

NASA is developing plans for an ambitious mission to orbit three planet-sized moons of Jupiter -- Callisto, Ganymede and Europa -- which may harbor vast oceans beneath their icy surfaces. The mission, called the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter, would orbit each of these moons for extensive investigations of their makeup, their history and their potential for sustaining life. NASA's Galileo spacecraft found evidence for these subsurface oceans, a finding that ranks among the major scientific discoveries of the Space Age.

Project Prometheus

NASA's Project Prometheus was established this year to develop technology and conduct advanced studies in the areas of radioisotope power system and nuclear power and propulsion for the peaceful exploration of the Solar System. Project Prometheus, organized within the NASA Office of Space Science, has the goal of developing the first reactor powered spacecraft capability and demonstrating that it can be operated safely and reliably in deep space on long duration missions. The proposed Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter has been identified as the first space science mission to potentially incorporate this new revolutionary capability.



Ray Taylor is the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter (JIMO) Program Executive within the Office of Space Science (Code S) of NASA Headquarters. JIMO develops the technologies and flight system to significantly expand capabilities to explore the Solar System using fission-based power and propulsion systems. JIMO provides long-term, sustained, and close-up survey of three icy moons of Jupiter. JIMO is responsive to the Decadal Survey (which identified Europa as the highest priority within the flagship mission category), and is responsive to the Aerospace Industry Commission Report (which recommended development of advanced propulsion technologies). JIMO is the first flight mission within Project Prometheus.

Prior to JIMO, Ray Taylor led the planning and early research and development activities of the NASA Nuclear Systems Initiative (NSI) within the Office of Space Science (Code S), NASA Headquarters. NSI is led by NASA Headquarters, with critical supporting technology development activities led by the Department of Energy, Glenn Research Center, Marshall Space Flight Center, Kennedy Space Flight Center, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Prior to this assignment, Mr. Taylor served as Deputy Project Manager, NPOESS Preparatory Project (NPP), Goddard Space Flight Center. NPP is a joint mission of NASA, NOAA, and DOD for global climate observation continuity and risk reduction flights of critical sensors prior to the first flight of the National Polar-orbiting Operational Satellite System (NPOESS).

Prior to NPP, Mr. Taylor served as Instrument Accommodation Manager within the EOS Terra Project. Launched in 1999, Terra is the first EOS multidisciplinary research satellite, with contributions from Langley Research Center, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Japan, and Canada.

Prior to coming to NASA in 1990, Mr. Taylor served at Naval Reactors Headquarters in Washington D.C. Naval Reactors is responsible for all aspects of the design and operation of naval nuclear propulsion plants.


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