Conceptual Missions for the Decadal Surveys
Every decade, NASA's Science Mission Directorate turns to the scientific community to identify and prioritize the most compelling research topics, scientific questions, and notional missions for the next 10 or more years. These Decadal Surveys, published by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, offer scientists and engineers across scientific disciplines a rare opportunity to help inform and potentially shape the next decade's scientific endeavors.
APL is a proud contributor to that effort. Our scientists and engineers have been awarded NASA funding to leverage their expertise, leadership and creativity to develop some of these innovative conceptual missions that could push the boundaries of space exploration capabilities and return unparalleled discoveries about our solar system.
Scroll down to explore these conceptual missions and see what space exploration between 2023 and 2032 may have in store.
Building on New Horizons' revolutionary discoveries about the Pluto system and Kuiper Belt Objects, the conceptual Persephone mission proposes to fly far afield yet again, this time staying longer to explore and answer questions about the bizarre, primitive worlds of the Kuiper Belt.
In response to a growing push to return to the Ice Giants, the conceptual Neptune Odyssey mission would provide unparalleled scientific data about Neptune and its moon Triton that could help researchers understand Neptune-like planets around other stars and the geophysics of a Pluto-like moon.