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The Neptune/Triton Explorer Mission: A Concept Feasibility StudyTechnological advances over the next 10 to 15 years promise to enable a number of smaller, more capable science missions to the outer planets. With the inception of miniaturized spacecraft for a wide range of applications, both in large clusters around Earth, and for deep space missions, NASA is currently in the process of redefining the way science is being gathered. Technologies such as 3-Dimensional Multi-Chip Modules, Micro-machined Electromechanical Devices, Multi Functional Structures, miniaturized transponders, miniaturized propulsion systems, variable emissivity thermal coatings, and artificial intelligence systems are currently in research and development, and are scheduled to fly (or have flown) in a number of missions. This study will leverage on these and other technologies in the design of a lightweight Neptune orbiter unlike any other that has been proposed to date. The Neptune/Triton Explorer (NExTEP) spacecraft uses solar electric earth gravity assist and aero capture maneuvers to achieve its intended target orbit. Either a Taurus or Delta-class launch vehicle may be used to accomplish the mission.
Document ID
Document Type
Esper, Jaime
(NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Greenbelt, MD, United States)
Date Acquired
September 7, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2003
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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