Pluto Fast Flyby

Pluto Fast FlybyNASA and JPL announce a plan is in the works to launch small twin spacecraft toward the planet Pluto. The Pluto Fast Flyby mission would launch two vehicles in 1997 or 1998, much smaller than the Voyager spacecraft that have explored the larger outer planets, with the two vehicles possibly arriving at Pluto as early as 2005 or 2007. Pluto Fast Flyby has the support of NASA’s new administrator and the White House, both of whom are insisting that NASA embrace a “faster, better, cheaper” space exploration philosophy. To save weight and energy, the initial mission proposal calls for no instruments other than cameras. This meets with protests from scientists (and proponents of the earlier Pluto 350 mission proposal). In the rapidly changing political climate at NASA, the Pluto Fast Flyby proposal lasts less than a year.

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