Panel Selection: Giant Planets
Institution: Cornell University, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
The Saturn Ring Observer (SRO) study was requested by the Giant Planets Panel of the 2012 Planetary Science Decadal Survey (PSDS). The panel specified two study objectives: -Investigate the method(s) by which a spacecraft might be placed in a tight circular orbit around Saturn, using chemical or nuclear-electric propulsion or aerocapture in Saturn''s atmosphere. The critical issue is trajectory. -Identify technological developments for the next decade that would enable such a mission in the post-2023 timeframe (after the next Saturnian equinox), with a particular focus on power and propulsion.