Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Timothy J. Lawrence, PhD.


A number of interstellar precursor missions have been designed, but they have all made use of unproven future technologies. This research focuses on designing an interstellar precursor mission to the gravitational lens that can be manufactured solely with today's technology. The design includes an examination of trip time and trajectory, a system trade between subsystems, a launch vehicle analysis and an overall spacecraft performance analysis. The trip time was found to be approximately 108 years using the NEXT thruster and GPHS power source. The GPHS provided approximately 4 kW of power at BOL. The communications subsystem relied on a 12 meter high gain antenna, which also serves as the primary payload, and a 2 meter medium gain antenna. Finally, the estimated mission cost is 3-5 billion USD.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number