"China Considers Voyager-like Mission to Interstellar Space"


China is planning a Voyager-like mission to the outer solar system that includes a flyby of Neptune, measurements of the electrically charged gas bubble surrounding our solar system, and a journey to interstellar space.

The mission is currently named IHP, which stands for Interstellar Heliosphere Probe. It consists of two spacecraft that would explore the heliosphere, the solar-wind-created region around our Sun that separates us from interstellar space as the solar system travels through the Milky Way.

Zong Qiugang, the director of the Institute of Space Physics and Applied Technology at Peking University in China, said the mission “will allow us to discover, explore, and understand fundamental astrophysical processes in the largest plasma laboratory—the heliosphere.” Zong gave an overview of the mission at EPSC-DPS 2019, an international gathering of planetary scientists in Geneva, Switzerland.