Neptune: scientists create curious theory about what it would be like to fall into the gaseous planet

Scientists from the European Space Agency (ESA) are embarking on a pioneering journey to unlock the gas giant’s atmospheric secrets Uranus.

Using innovative experiments, the team seeks to replicate the Earth’s unique atmospheric compositions. planetshedding light on what has remained shrouded in mystery for a long time.

Using European shock tubes and adapted plasma installations, researchers simulated a deep descent into the planet, reaching incredible speeds of 19 km/s.

Testing took place in the renowned T6 Stalker hypersonic plasma tunnels at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom and in the plasma wind tunnels of the High Enthalpy Flow Diagnostics Group at the University of Stuttgart in Germany.

Image of the pioneering experiment in the world – Image: ESA/Reproduction

The primary objective of this experiment is to simulate the flight of atmospheric probes, since no human being or spacecraft has directly explored the gas giants Uranus and Neptune.

Uranus and Neptune, distinguished by their liquid oceans and blue coloring due to the presence of methane in their atmospheres, remain fascinating targets for space exploration.

NASA and ESA, considering future missions, are considering the feasibility of atmospheric probes, similar to those used on NASA’s Galileo mission to Jupiter.

ESA aerodynamics engineer Louis Walpot highlights the unique challenges faced by these missions, emphasizing the need for robust thermal protection systems to withstand the extreme conditions of these distant planets.

This project, the result of a collaboration between the United Kingdom, the Germany and ESA, receives support from the Agency’s General Support Technology Program.

As scientists prepare to extend simulations in wind tunnels, we are getting closer to deciphering the enigmas surrounding the mysterious Uranus and, who knows, unlocking the secrets of our Solar System.

This scientific breakthrough promises to reveal never-before-known details about Uranus’ peculiar atmosphere and potentially pave the way for future exploratory space missions.

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