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It seems like the biggest difference is the ability to avoid a 700 m/s deep space maneuver. That is required for a Juno style trajectory. The Mars flyby provides enough delta-v that this deep space maneuver isn't required. In order to support the EEJ trajectory, a small booster stage would be needed to be included to provide that particular trajectory, as ...


Warning: this is a speculative answer. I sadly would not be surprised if it were a political move to "prove" to Congress the "need" of SLS instead of relying on other launchers. Unless the Sun is in between the spacecraft and the Earth, a TCM on the way to Mars is not a big issue. According to

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