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Exploring the Outer Solar System with Solar Sailing Smallsats on Fast-Transit Trajectories, In-Flight Autonomous Assembly of Advanced Science Payloads

Whitepaper #039 submitted to the Planetary Science and Astrobiology Decadal Survey 2023-2032. Topics: exoplanets; primitive bodies; technology development

Published onMar 18, 2021
Exploring the Outer Solar System with Solar Sailing Smallsats on Fast-Transit Trajectories, In-Flight Autonomous Assembly of Advanced Science Payloads

We discuss a novel approach for exploring the outer solar system that relies on in-flight autonomous assembly of advanced planetary payloads. The new science instruments are built from modular parts that are delivered to assembly point by separate smallsats placed on fast, ~10 AU/yr, solar system transfer trajectories via solar sail propulsion.


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