Interstellar probe: Breakthrough science enabled by nuclear propulsion

T. H. Zurbuchen, P. Prashant, A. Gallimore, D. Scheeres, N. Murphy, G. Zank, R. Malhotra, H. Funsten

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


1,2The purpose of Interstellar Probe (ISP) is to follow NASA's exploratory mission to cross the heliospheric boundary regions and, for the first time, enter our extra-solar galactic environment. Interstellar Probe has therefore captured the imagination of the science community and the public for several decades. In 1999, NASA commissioned a science and technology definition team to address the science and technology aspects of ISP. A number of scientific issues and technology aspects have changed. We now also have modern three-dimensional simulations of the heliospheric interface regions. In addition, nuclear power has become a feasible alternative for propulsion of Interstellar Probe. We discuss how nuclear propulsion might affect the instrumentation, mission requirements, and mission plan, as well as how it may enable new science objectives. We discuss the science, payload, ongoing trade studies, and development of this approach for the Interstellar Probe, relying on technology developed for the Jupiter Icy Moon Orbiter (JIMO).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2005 IEEE Aerospace Conference
StatePublished - 2005
Event2005 IEEE Aerospace Conference - Big Sky, MT, United States
Duration: Mar 5 2005Mar 12 2005

Publication series

NameIEEE Aerospace Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)1095-323X


Other2005 IEEE Aerospace Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBig Sky, MT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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