PILLAR 2 : REPRESENTATIVE SPACE MISSIONS
A HEAVY TREND
All borders of our action are going to expand outwards dramatically by 2061
Our foresight analysis of the major scientific questions and of the types of space missions to solar system destinations needed to address them can be placed in the broader context of the scientific exploration of the fascinating worlds of extra-solar planetary systems.
Then, starting from our six major scientific questions, our Horizon 2061 foresight first identifies for each question the key observations that need to be performed at a set of objects or sites in the solar system, and then the types of space missions that will need to be flown to these destinations by 2061 to perform these observations.
By 2061, all the “frontiers” (or outer boundaries) of exploration should have moved dramatically outwards: human exploration might have reached Mars and perhaps the main asteroid belt; sample return missions should have reached, beyond the asteroid belt, the Trojan asteroids on the orbit of Jupiter and the icy moons of Jupiter and Saturn; robotic exploration should have reached the very local interstellar medium, well beyond the outer shock of the heliosphere, thus opening the way towards the closest stars and their planetary systems.
For the rest of our analysis, we will classify the destinations of our typical missions into the six provinces listed below.
Each of these provinces can be visited by several types of missions.
6 main provinces
- Future giant space observatories
- The Earth-Moon system
- Terrestrial planets
- Giant planets and their systems
- Small bodies
- Heliosphere, Solar system, ISM and beyond