NASA will send a research probe outside the solar system in the next decade
The European Earth Sciences Union (EGU) website has a message about a new NASA mission planned for the 2030s to study the boundaries of the heliosphere and space beyond it. The new probe Interstellar Probe will be similar to New Horizons but must reach a point at a distance of a thousand astronomical units from the Sun in 50 years of its flight.
Today, four spacecraft have crossed the heliosphere of our system, two of which – Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 – have obtained valuable scientific information. The new device flying to the border – New Horizons – will also reach it over time, but its service life will be completed by that time. The new Interstellar Probe will be the most sophisticated and durable spacecraft ever to reach the solar system’s heliosphere at a distance of up to 120 AU.. They will…go far, far beyond their limits without losing efficiency and communication with the Earth.
The estimated weight of the Interstellar Probe will be 850-950 kg. Scientific instruments will require about 90 kg, including cameras, a magnetometer, dust and cosmic radiation sensors, particle and plasma analyzers. Two new-generation radioisotope sources of electricity will power plants and equipment. For communication with the Earth, a five-meter centimeter-band antenna is provided. The estimated data transfer rate at the destination point at a distance of 1000 AU. will be 500 Bit / s.
The Interstellar Probe is expected to be launched in the early 1930s. It will reach the heliosphere’s boundaries in 15 years, while Voyagers took 35 years to do this.