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To Pluto by way of a postage stampIn this time of constrained budgets, the primary question facing planetary explorers is not 'Can we do it?' but 'Can we do it cheaply?' Taunted by words on a postage stamp, a group of mission designers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory is struggling to find a cheap way to go to Pluto. Three primary goals were set by the science community: (1) imaging of Pluto and Charon, (2) mapping their surface composition, and (3) characterizing Pluto's atmosphere. The spacecraft will be designed around these primary goals. With the help of the Advanced Technology Insertion (ATI) process $5 million was alloted for two years to shop for lightweight components and subsystems using new technology never tried on a planetary mission. The process for this search and development is described.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Staehle, Robert L.
(Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California United States)
Terrile, Richard J.
(Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California United States)
Weinstein, Stacy S.
(Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
October 1, 1994
Publication Information
Publication: Planetary Report
Volume: 14
Issue: 5
ISSN: 0736-3680
Subject Category
Lunar And Planetary Exploration
Accession Number
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