Status Report

Exploration of the outer solar system with fast and small sailcraft

By SpaceRef Editor
May 26, 2020
Filed under ,

Slava G. Turyshev, Peter Klupar, Abraham Loeb, Zachary Manchester, Kevin Parkin, Edward Witten, S. Pete Worden

Two new interplanetary technologies have advanced in the past decade to the point where they may enable exciting, affordable missions that reach further and faster deep into the outer regions of our solar system: (i) small and capable interplanetary spacecraft and (ii) light-driven sails. Combination of these two technologies could drastically reduce travel times within the solar system. We discuss a new paradigm that involves small and fast moving sailcraft that could enable exploration of distant regions of the solar system much sooner and faster than previously considered. We present some of the exciting science objectives for these miniaturized intelligent space systems that could lead to transformational advancements in the space sciences.

Comments: A White Paper to the National Academy of Sciences Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey 2023-2032. 13 pages, 5 figures and 2 tables

Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP); Solar and Stellar Astrophysics (astro-ph.SR); General Relativity and Quantum Cosmology (gr-qc)

Cite as: arXiv:2005.12336 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:2005.12336v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)

Submission history

From: Slava G. Turyshev 

[v1] Mon, 25 May 2020 18:42:30 UTC (897 KB)

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