Although Galileo and Ulysses were launched one year apart, and even though both used the same launch system and the same RPS design, the Ulysses review was just as involved as the Galileo review because the Ulysses GPHS-RTG was oriented 90 degrees from those on the Galileo spacecraft. In contrast, for the Apollo missions the first safety review was exhaustive, but subsequent Apollo safety reviews were abbreviated, focusing on mission and system differences. Pioneer 10 and 11 were reviewed together, as were Viking 1 and 2, LES 8 and 9, and Voyager 1 and 2.

Although the committee did not have the time or information necessary to assess launch rate issues, the committee is confident that the short supply of 238Pu is by far the most urgent issue that must be addressed to carry out NASA’s plans for RPS missions. Still, a detailed investigation of launch rate issues would be advisable because inattention could eventually allow them to become a mission-limiting factor.

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