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Technology Requirements

  • Advanced propulsion and non-solar
    power source (if not RTGs)*
  • Lightweight, optimized instruments;
    lightweight, low-cost spacecraft**

*Mission enabling
**Mission enhancing

Science Objectives
  • Determine the nature of the interstellar medium and its implications for the orgin and evolution of matter in the galaxy
  • Explore the structure of the heliosphere and its interaction with the interstellar medium
  • Study fundamental physical processes occurring in the heliosphere and interstellar medium

Mission Description

  • Send a spacecraft to 200 AU in ~20 years, or less; in upwind direction
  • Potential methods: close Jupiter/Sun flybys; nuclear or RTG electric propulsion; solar sail at 0.3 AU; solar thermal

Measurement Strategy

  • Solar wind, energetic particles, interstellar medium (plasma, field, neutrals)
  • IR observations of interest to Origins program; cosmic rays to Astrophysics; dust to Planetary