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We have some spacecraft that have extended missions outside of the solar system (ie voyager), but are there any plans for new spacecraft that will leave our solar system either by a primary or extended mission?

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  • $\begingroup$ AFAIU the extra stellar missions so far launched all depended on a rare alignment of planets for the purposes of gravity assists. No propulsion system we've yet devised makes extra-stellar missions practical without the gravity assists. $\endgroup$ – Andrew Thompson Feb 23 '17 at 14:41
  • $\begingroup$ @AndrewThompson If so, do you know when the next such opportunity will arise and if there are any plans for that moment? $\endgroup$ – David says Reinstate Monica Feb 23 '17 at 14:43
  • $\begingroup$ I don't know for sure, but as far as I vaguely recall, such fortuitous planetary alignments occur every couple of centuries. $\endgroup$ – Andrew Thompson Feb 23 '17 at 15:01
  • $\begingroup$ Oh wait.. look at Grand Tour program "The particular alignment occurs once every 175 years." Mind you, that was to visit all the outer planets, whereas you'd skip Pluto (oops! Not even a planet any longer) if you were most interested in gravity assists. $\endgroup$ – Andrew Thompson Feb 23 '17 at 15:04
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    $\begingroup$ Voyager and New Horizons were launched years apart, but not 175 years apart, and both are on escape trajectories. $\endgroup$ – Steve Feb 23 '17 at 18:28
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There are no official and founded plans of new mission with primary plan to leave the Solar System.

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