NASA has just received 12 proposals for a future unmanned Solar System exploration mission. The proposed missions were submitted under the New Frontiers program and are currently under review.
The post from NASA confirms that these potential missions will be undergoing scientific and technical reviews over the next seven months. According to the post, their aim is to select a mission within the next two years. However, the company states that the intention is to launch these missions in the mid 2020s.
Associate Administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate Thomas Zurbuchen explains what the New Frontiers is all about. According to him, it’s about “answering the biggest questions in our solar system today”. In addition to this, they also aim to build on previous missions to “push the frontiers of exploration”.
While the New Frontiers projects are usually kept secret, NASA has decided to reveal the themes they’re looking for this time.
- Comet Surface Sample Return
- Lunar South Pole-Aitken Basin Sample Return
- Ocean Worlds (Titan and/or Enceladus)
- Saturn Probe
- Trojan Tour and Rendezvous
- Venus In Situ Explorer
The blog post from NASA states that one or more concepts will be getting an annoncement later this year in November. At the end of this phase, only one New Frontiers mission will be continuing forwards to realization. In addition to this, all mission proposals will be undergoing extensive and competitive peer reviews.
For those who would like to know more about this new revelation from NASA, you can find the official post here.
More news about this future Solar System mission will be coming later this year in November. However, we will be sure to keep you updated as we learn more about New Frontiers and the upcoming mission.