Fast, Low-cost, InterPlanetary (FLIP) Missions -- A New Paradigm for Solar System Exploration

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- Launch to Earth escape speed or into high Earth orbit
- Spiral in toward Sun, tacking the sail
- Perihelion fly around Sun gains high hyperbolic speed 
- Outbound trajectory flees through the solar system and beyond

The smallsat sailcraft can be launched from high Earth orbit to a series of destinations throughout the solar system at speeds 5-20 AU/year

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This new paradigm for for fast missions through the solar system was developed as part of the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts Study of using the solar gravity lens to provide high multi-pixel imaging of exoplanets.  It is the only way we can get such images.  Multiple smallsat solar sailcraft will enable the mission in 10-20 years

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Article in Aerospace America by Turyshev and Friedman 

See this White Paper presented to the National Academies of Science Space Science Board  

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What about getting beyond the solar system -- to another star?  NOT LIKELY - Space is too big and our lifetimes are too short!  This is part of my new book: We Are Alone, But We Are Not Lonely.  And it is the subject of recent letter I wrote in Dec. 2021 to Kelvin Long in Great Britain who is creating a museum devoted to the ideas of Interstellar Flight.