- Led the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the study will look at ideas for orbiters that could be dispatched Uranus and Neptune in the late 2020s or early 2030s and study the giant planet’s structures, composition and extensive moon systems. NASA also tasked JPL to identify ways international partners could participate in the missions and to establish a science definition team for Uranus and Neptune.
- A mission to Uranus or Neptune will likely be a multibillion-dollar flagship-class mission in the mold of NASA’s Cassini orbiter flying around Saturn and a recently-approved probe to repeatedly fly by Jupiter’s icy moon Europa.
- Some scientists view Uranus and Neptune as the logical next step in the strategic exploration of the solar system, and orbiters to one or both of the huge planets could arrive about a half-century after their first encounters by NASA’s Voyager 2 probe.
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