Flyby of Io with Repeat Encounters

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Flyby of Io with Repeat Encounters
Mission typeReconnaissance
Mission durationcruise: 6 years
science phase: 4 months (proposed)[1]
Start of mission
Launch date2024 (proposed)
RocketAtlas V
Flyby of Io
Closest approach2030 (proposed)
Distance100 km from Io
Orbits≥10 Io flybys

FIRE (Flyby of Io with Repeat Encounters) is a concept mission to Jupiter's innermost moon Io. The mission was first presented in 2012[2] for a possible future consideration by NASA's New Frontiers program.[3]


If developed in the future, the FIRE spacecraft would use three gravity assists to reach Jupiter six years later.[3] The spacecraft would orbit Jupiter and perform 10 flybys of Io, some as low as 100 km (62 mi) from its surface.[3][1] The ten flybys would be completed in approximately four months.[1]

As a New Frontiers class mission, the cost cap would be $991 million (FY2012) with a $927 million base cap with a $64 million launch vehicle cost credit.[1]

Goals and objectives[edit]

Jupiter's moon Io


Five-image sequence acquired by New Horizons showing Io's volcano Tvashtar spewing material 330 km above its surface.

The instrument suite includes four proposed instruments: [2][3]

  1. Visible OpticaL Camera And Near-infrared Observer (VOLCANO) is a visible/near-infrared imager.
  2. Multi-Axis Geophysical Magnetometer (MAGMA) is a magnetic instrumentation subpackage.
  3. Comprehensive AnaLysis of Dust from ERuptions and Atmosphere (CALDERA), is a dust analyzer that would identify the material in the volcanic plumes.
  4. FieLd Analysis through Radio Exploration (FLARE) is a radio science experiment.


Electric power to the spacecraft and its scientific payload would be generated by three Advanced Stirling Radioisotope Generators (ASRG).[3][1] ASRG is a radioisotope power system under development at NASA's Glenn Research Center. It uses a Stirling power conversion technology to convert radioactive-decay heat into electricity for use on spacecraft.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e Flyby of Io with Repeat Encounters (FIRE): A New Frontiers Mission Designed to STudy the Innermost Volcanic Body in the Solar System. (PDF) R. W. K. Potter, M. L. Cable, J. Cum-bers, D. M. Gentry, T. N. Harrison, S. Naidu, S. Padovan6, C. W. Parker, J. Reimuller, S. Shkolyar, T-A. Su-er, J. R. Szalay, H. J. Trammell, C. C. Walker, J. L. Whitten and C. J. Budney. 44th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (2013).
  2. ^ a b Flyby of Io with Repeat Encounters (FIRE): Designing a New Frontiers mission to study the most volcanic body in the solar system. Padovan, S.; Cable, M. L.; Cumbers, J.; Gentry, D.; Harrison, T. N.; Naidu, S.; Parker, C. W.; Potter, R.; Reimuller, J.; Shkolyar, S.; Suer, T. K.; Szalay, J.; Trammell, H. J.; Walker, C. C.; Whitten, J. American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2012, abstract #P51A-2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e Flyby of Io with Repeat Encounters: A conceptual design for a New Frontiers mission to Io. Terry-Ann Suer, Sebastiano Padovan, Jennifer L. Whitten, Ross W.K. Potter, Svetlana Shkolyar, Morgan Cable, Catherine Walker, Jamey Szalay, Charles Parker, John Cumbers, Diana Gentry, Tanya Harrison, Shantanu Naidu, Harold J. Trammell, Jason Reimuller, Charles J. Budney, Leslie L. Lowes. Advances in Space Research, Volume 60, Issue 5, 1 September 2017, Pages 1080-1100