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Prospects for Interstellar PropulsionIn recognition of the increasing prospects for Earth-like exoplanet discoveries and its significance for spurring future interstellar voyages of discovery, the United States Congress recently directed NASA to undertake an interstellar mission technology assessment report. In response to this legislative charge to action, NASA has undertaken a series of extramural interstellar workshops aimed at identifying and evaluating technology concepts for enabling an interstellar scientific probe mission, associated technical challenges, technology readiness level assessments, risks, potential near-term milestones, and funding requirements. This paper summarizes these activities and discusses the scientific and technical rationale for a long-term program consisting of incremental, staged technical developments that are extensible for interstellar travel to a nearby star system over many decades.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Marshall Space Flight Center
Document Type
Conference Paper
Litchford, Ronald J.
(NASA Headquarters Washington, DC, United States)
Sheehy, Jeffrey A.
(NASA Headquarters Washington, DC, United States)
Date Acquired
February 5, 2020
Publication Date
January 30, 2020
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion And Power
Report/Patent Number
AAS 20-068
Meeting Information
Meeting: Annual AAS Guidance, Navigation and Control Conference
Location: Breckenridge, CO
Country: United States
Start Date: January 30, 2020
End Date: February 5, 2020
Sponsors: American Astronautical Society (AAS)
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
Technical Review
Single Expert
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