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New Opportunities for Outer Solar System Science using Radioisotope Electric Propulsion
Panel Selection: Satellites: Galilean satellites, Titan, and the other satellites of the giant planets. Primitive Bodies: Asteroids, comets, Phobos, Deimos, Pluto/Charon and other Kuiper belt objects, meteorites, and interplanetary dust.
Institution: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
This whitepaper discusses how mobility provided by radioisotope electric propulsion (REP) opens up entirely new science opportunities for robotic missions to distant primitive bodies. We also give an overview of REP technology developments and the required next steps to realize REP.