Planetary Grand Tour

Planetary Grand Tour

The Planetary Grand Tour was an ambitious plan to send unmanned probes to the outermost planets of the solar system. Conceived by Gary Flandro of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Grand Tour would have exploited the alignment of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, an event that would occur in the late 1970s, and not recur for 176 years. A probe sent to Jupiter could use that planet as a gravitational slingshot to extend its trajectory to planets further out in the Solar System.

The original proposed mission design had four probes. The first two, launched in 1976 and 1977, would fly by Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto. The other two, launched in 1979, would fly by Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune.

The vehicles were to have been designed with multiple redundant systems to ensure reliability over missions lasting up to 12 years.

NASA budget cuts eventually doomed the Grand Tour missions in 1972, as well as later proposals for a "mini grand tour". However, many elements of the Grand Tour were added to the Voyager program. The two Voyager probes, launched in 1977, were originally meant to fly by Jupiter and Saturn. But Voyager 2 used the fortunate alignments of the outer planets and was able to add close flybys of both Uranus and Neptune. Voyager 2's mission has specifically come to be regarded as the "Grand Tour."

Voyager 1 could have been sent to Pluto after Saturn, but was instead sent on a trajectory which brought it close by Titan, eliminating Pluto. Voyager 2's trajectory could not be bent to bring the probe by Pluto after the Neptune flyby in 1989.

Pluto, no longer regarded as a planet after the 2006 redefinition, is scheduled for exploration by the New Horizons spacecraft set to rendezvous with the dwarf planet and its three moons in 2015.

References

* See "National Geographic", August 1970, for proposed Grand Tour project information.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Planetary Grand Tour — Trajectoires du programme Voyager, version allégée (pour des raisons budgétaires) du Grand Tour . Le Planetary Grand Tour (Grand tour planétaire) était un programme d exploration planétaire ambitieux de la NASA consistant à envoyer des sondes… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Planetary Grand Tour — Die Trajektorien, die es den NASA Sonden Voyager 1 and 2 eine Tour zu den vier Gasriesen und die Fluchtgeschwindigkeit aus dem Sonnensystem ermöglichten. Die Planetary Grand Tour, zu deutsch „Große Planetare Rundreise“, war ein ehrgeiziger Plan… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Grand Tour (disambiguation) — Grand Tour can refer to:*The Grand Tour (George Jones album), a 1974 country music album by George Jones.:* The Grand Tour, the title track from Jones 1974 album. *Grand Tour, a tour of European cultural centers that once was a standard feature… …   Wikipedia

  • Grand tour (homonymie) — Cette page d’homonymie répertorie les différents sujets et articles partageant un même nom. Histoire Le grand tour de France entrepris par Charles IX entre 1564 et 1566. Le Grand Tour, long voyage effectué par les jeunes gens des plus hautes… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Grand Tour (novel series) — The Grand Tour is a series of novels written by science fiction author Ben Bova.ummaryThe novels present a theme of exploration and colonization of the solar system by humans in the late 21st century. Most of the books focus on the exploration of …   Wikipedia

  • Planetary Observer program — The Planetary Observer program is a cancelled space exploration program designed by NASA to provide cheaper planetary orbiters by utilising Earth orbiting satellite components and technology, using solar panels for power, and a common spacecraft… …   Wikipedia

  • Grand cachalot — Physeter macrocephalus, Physeter catodon • Cachalot, Cachalot macrocéphale Pour les articles homonymes, voir Cachalot …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Grand verglas de 1998 — Verglas massif de 1998 Verglas massif de 1998 Photo du satellite GOES 8 montrant le contenu en eau des nuages sur l Est de l Amérique du Nord du 7 au 9 janvier 1998. Type Synoptique hivernale verglas/pluie/neige Date de formation 4 janvier 199 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Programme Planetary Observer — Mars Observer est la seule mission de ce programme à avoir été lancée. Le Programme Planetary Observer est un programme spatial de la NASA lancé dans les années 1980. Il était destiné à développer des missions à cout modéré à destination des… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Kinnikuman Muscle Grand Prix — Infobox VG title = キン肉マン マッスルグランプリ MAX caption = developer = Aki Corporation publisher = Bandai Namco Games designer = released = vgrelease|Japan|JPN|July 27, 2006 genre = Fighting modes = Single player, Multiplayer ratings = CERO: A (All ages)… …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.