The Grand Tour Outer Planets mission is proposed to NASA by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Using a combination of the gravitational assist trajectories computed by JPL’s Michael Minovitch in 1961, Caltech/JPL grad student Gary Flandro has identified a favorable alignment of the outer planets which would allow for a single spacecraft to reach Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto within two decades. Vehicles taking advantage of this planetary alignment must lift off at very precise times during 1977 and 1978, and the alignment will not occur again for nearly 200 years. An ambitious plan is laid out for multiple flyby vehicles with atmospheric probes for every gas planet and landers for specific moons of interest, launched by Saturn V rockets. Budget realities scale this plan back: flybys will be carried out by two cheaper Mariner vehicles (later renamed Voyager), while the atmospheric and satellite probes – eventually to be renamed Galileo and Cassini – wait even longer to reach their destinations, and the Pluto flyby is scrapped until the 21st century New Horizons probe lifts off. JPL also recommends an inner solar system tryout of the gravitational assist maneuvers required, resulting in the Mariner 10 mission to Venus and Mercury.
The Grand Tour
theLogBook.com's timeline of over 5,000 events changes every day, juxtaposing science, science fiction, and pop culture for historical context (and for fun). Virtually every date on the timeline is verifiable and has been researched through public records, or through reliable published sources. More on that process here.The shows, movies, music, games and other items covered here, and all related characters and placenames, are the property of the originators of the respective intellectual properties. This site is not intended to infringe upon the rightsholders' copyright in any way. theLogBook.com makes no attempt - in using the names described herein - to supercede the copyrights of the rightsholders, nor is any of this information officially sanctioned, licensed, or endorsed by the creators, writers or producers.