# Oumuamua mission value versus New Horizon Pluto and Europa Clipper

A space mission to chase down the Oumuamua object would be worth the \$2 to 4 billion or so cost.

Oumuamua is worth looking at for scientific value even it is only an anomalous interstellar object.

Harvard researchers have calculated that unusual speedup and movement of Oumuamua indicate that it could be solar sail. It might weigh only 100 to 300 kilograms instead of a solid comet-like material. If it was comet material it would weigh one million to ten million tons. If it is a solar sail it would be evidence of a civilization of technologically capable aliens that sent out a solar sail probe millions of years ago. We have only just had a few smaller solar sail probes.

In 2010, the Japan Space agency launched IKAROS. It has a diagonal spinning square sail 14×14 meters and made of a 7.5-micrometre (0.0075 mm) thick sheet of polyimide. The polyimide sheet had a mass of about 10 grams per square meter.

In late 2020, NASA launched NanoSail-D. NanoSail-D structure was made of aluminium and plastic, with the spacecraft massing less than 10 pounds (4.5 kg). The sail has about 100 square feet (9.3 m2) of light-catching surface.

There are other possibilities for Oumuamua.

* Oumuamua as a Messenger from the Local Association
* Oumuamua as a Tidal Disruption Fragment from a Binary Star System

## Mission timing and cost

Any two super-heavy lift rockets would work for the mission. We launch two big rockets. One rocket adds fuel to the other rocket. We then can launch at higher speed with multiple stages toward Jupiter. The mission slingshots around Jupiter and then does close flyby slingshot around the sun.

Reusability would not be needed for the rockets.

There needs to be a transfer of fuel between one rocket and the other.

Two SpaceX Falcon Super-heavy might also work. This would involve having four boosters on the Falcon Heavy instead of only two. Two SpaceX Falcon Super-heavy might be flown by 2020.

Two SpaceX Falcon Super-heavies might only cost a total of \$500 million.

The probe itself would need to be similar to the Parker Solar Probe. This would cost about \$1.5 billion.

If we could launch two SpaceX Falcon Super-heavies by 2021 then we might intercept when the object is only at 50 AU. About 1.5 times farther than Pluto. This would be a mission cost of possibly only \$2 billion.

Researchers made some assumptions and estimated that it will an average ten-year wait between detectable interstellar objects.

## We can catch up to it but can we get close enough and reacquire the object

Are the measurements of the departure trajectory accurate enough for intercept. The best we can do is intercept at 50 to 90 AU. If our measurements of the trajectory are bad then we could be very far away when we pass Oumuamua.

We would need to be able to scan within the volume of the margin of error to look for Oumuamua.

We have to catch up to it and reacquire the object.

## Mission has to be able communicate pictures and readings

The mission has to be able transmit the pictures and readings from two to four times the distance from Pluto.

## Other Space mission costs

The Parker Solar Probe mission cost \$1.5 billion. The probe to chase down the interstellar object will need to do a close gravitational slingshot to the sun. It will need to be built like the Parker Solar Probe.

\$700 million was spent on the New Horizon Mission to Pluto. Part of the justification for the timing of that mission was the atmosphere of Pluto was going to freeze for decades.

\$2 billion will be spent for the Europa Clipper mission to investigate Europa and its ocean.

Nextbigfuture believes the unique scientific value of closer examination of the Oumuamua is worth a technically challenging mission.

An assessment needs to be made. How accurate are the trajectory calculations? Could we find it again and then get useful data.

If there could be high confidence that any probe could find Oumuamua, if we get near where the object should be, then the mission would be worthwhile.

### 73 thoughts on “Oumuamua mission value versus New Horizon Pluto and Europa Clipper”

1. Nice rendering of the FSH … a possible Space Force experiment for SpaceX if BFR does not work out (hopefully it does!). Put a fully reusable spacecraft on it as the seconds stage and have a 10 person lunar capable spacecraft for maybe \$20M a mission after \$2B in dev costs.

2. Nice rendering of the FSH … a possible Space Force experiment for SpaceX if BFR does not work out (hopefully it does!). Put a fully reusable spacecraft on it as the seconds stage and have a 10 person lunar capable spacecraft for maybe \$20M a mission after \$2B in dev costs.

3. Confining expectations and extrapolations to a run on Oumuamua, I see no other approach that, in the near term, utilizes a ready to go tech and is cheap enough (relatively speaking) to actually get funded.The thing about E sails is, they get bigger as the Solar wind thins out, as opposed to a “traditional” solar, photonic, sail.Instead of a reflective surface for light to push on, an E sail uses charged tethers to repel the protons in the solar wind. At the same time as the conductive tethers are creating a field around themselves, a field that expands as the solar wind pressure drops, they are collecting the electrons that also are in the solar wind.The electrons are emitted from a gun to maintain the appropriate charge on the wire, but could also charge a small battery pack, and charge up a capacitor which can be used to send bursts of laser light for data transfer.Once each probe has achieved the target speed, electrons can be turned to charging full time, rather than being discharged to maintain the tether charge.E sails are so much simpler, and can be cheaply produced and launched en mass. And each chaser can carry fewer, more narrowly tailored sensor packages. Redundancy, redundancy, redundancy.I did mention the Starshot initiative, but only as an example of doing bigger things with smaller budgets. They’re about pushing sails with laser light. E sails ride on the solar wind.One thing about a larger probe that might be cool is to send a laser of sufficient power as to be able to push small sails like the Starshot sails, backwards in order to decelerate them down to match O’s speed. The big laser project is meant to kick the tiny foils up to high percentages of C. A smaller onboard laser, and a stack of a few thousand “gum wrappers”, could make a cloud around the big O that would really freak the crew out.

4. Nice rendering of the FSH … a possible Space Force experiment for SpaceX if BFR does not work out (hopefully it does!). Put a fully reusable spacecraft on it as the seconds stage and have a 10 person lunar capable spacecraft for maybe \$20M a mission after \$2B in dev costs.

5. Nice rendering of the FSH … a possible Space Force experiment for SpaceX if BFR does not work out (hopefully it does!). Put a fully reusable spacecraft on it as the seconds stage and have a 10 person lunar capable spacecraft for maybe \$20M a mission after \$2B in dev costs.

6. If, on a very, very, very long shot, it actually belongs to someone “else”… they might get annoyed by a hypervelocity impactor. Not a friendly thing to do at all.

7. If, on a very, very, very long shot, it actually belongs to someone “else”… they might get annoyed by a hypervelocity impactor. Not a friendly thing to do at all.

8. Given the low sunlight anywhere past the asteroid belt & especially past Jupiter you need some sort of nuclear power, either a reactor or an RTG to power the instruments & the transmitter for getting the data back to earth. If the Starshot tech works, that will be good for getting stuff moving fast away from earth, but the space probe still needs something to power the instruments & the transmitter. At least in the near term the Starshot people should work on lower speeds & larger probes that have the power to do something useful in the outer solar system

9. We will put nuke reactors in space…. some day.Electric propulsion is in space right now.The Dawn probe used three redundant ion thrusters, (one of which had a failure) putting out at 3100 ISP. It started with 10kw, at Earth, of solar panel power. Dry mass was around 1600lbs, and 900+ pounds of fuel.The big boy of the Kilopower units kicks out 10kw. IF it could be plugged in to a Dawn clone, replacing the solar, you’d still need to add back on radiator of nearly the same size. So, ten years from now MAYBE a nuke-electric probe could start out after Oumuamua. Add a year or two to do the flybys of Earth and/or Venus needed for a gravity assist dive on the Sun that also takes it out of the solar plane and headed at Oumuamua.With all the delays, the chase probe would need to be booking. Say, 100kps.Assuming all things, dry weight, power, ISP, being equal to the Dawn probe, it would take around 40,000lbs of xenon to get you there.And then, with a severely reduced capacity for observations, due to the need for a big @\$\$ dish to send snapshots back home.And, because it needed to double time on the way out, you’d only have a flash of a second to gaze at Her before zipping on past.Not to mention all the points of possible failure in such a complex craft. Nor the costs involved.E-sails are smaller, simpler, cheaper and ready(ish) for production. A “Breakthrough Starshot” sized budget, give or take a few tens (or twenties) of millions, and an entrepreneurs mentality, could make it happen in a couple or three years.Even the most elemental of probes would do, because if Oumuamua turned out to be arty-ficial, everybody on Earth with the cash and crew would be tripping over one another in a race out to lay a hand on it and claim all the IP.

10. Given the low sunlight anywhere past the asteroid belt & especially past Jupiter you need some sort of nuclear power, either a reactor or an RTG to power the instruments & the transmitter for getting the data back to earth. If the Starshot tech works, that will be good for getting stuff moving fast away from earth, but the space probe still needs something to power the instruments & the transmitter. At least in the near term the Starshot people should work on lower speeds & larger probes that have the power to do something useful in the outer solar system

11. One of the proposed options was an impactor. If they plan it a bit more carefully, it might be possible to replace the impactor by a soft capture or orbiter secondary probe.

12. Read the 1st sentence of the article.

13. One of the proposed options was an impactor. If they plan it a bit more carefully, it might be possible to replace the impactor by a soft capture or orbiter secondary probe.

14. Read the 1st sentence of the article.

15. Nextbigfuture believes the unique scientific value of closer examination of the Oumuamua is worth a technically challenging mission…Dear Nextbigfuture what is your budget ?

16. Nextbigfuture believes the unique scientific value of closer examination of the Oumuamua is worth a technically challenging mission…Dear Nextbigfuture what is your budget ?

17. It would certainly be an excellent and potentially game changing mission to chase down Oumuamua, however there are numerous problems to overcome. The only real launch possibility is SpaceX although a Falcon Super Heavy would be a non starter, while it may be possible to construct one of these a serious R&D effort would be required (it really isn’t as simple as sticking another couple of cores on) and SpaceX are already working on ther BFR / BFS combination which if all goes to plan will possibly be ready to launch in the early 2020’s and would be equally viable (if not more so) for launching a mission to Oumuamua. One of the biggest problems is the speed required, acquiring the needed velocity is not that much of an issue, while we have never got a probe to the sort of speeds needed it’s really not outside our current or very near term technology to do so, the big issue would be the relative velocity, to chase down Oumuamua a probe would need to be travelling a lot faster than Oumuamua itself which is fine while travelling there but while the speed of the New Horizons Pluto encounter was fast this would be far faster giving very limited science time. Trying to slow down would increase the science return but also push the arival time further into the future , still there may of course be many ways to maximise the science return from a relatively short flyby. I guess one of the best ways to sell this mission is not just as a Oumuamua flyby but due to it velocity an “Interstellar” mission as well although I don’t know if a flyby of Oumuamua would have a good trajectory out of the solar system or not.

18. It would certainly be an excellent and potentially game changing mission to chase down Oumuamua, however there are numerous problems to overcome. The only real launch possibility is SpaceX although a Falcon Super Heavy would be a non starter, while it may be possible to construct one of these a serious R&D effort would be required (it really isn’t as simple as sticking another couple of cores on) and SpaceX are already working on ther BFR / BFS combination which if all goes to plan will possibly be ready to launch in the early 2020’s and would be equally viable (if not more so) for launching a mission to Oumuamua. One of the biggest problems is the speed required, acquiring the needed velocity is not that much of an issue, while we have never got a probe to the sort of speeds needed it’s really not outside our current or very near term technology to do so, the big issue would be the relative velocity, to chase down Oumuamua a probe would need to be travelling a lot faster than Oumuamua itself which is fine while travelling there but while the speed of the New Horizons Pluto encounter was fast this would be far faster giving very limited science time. Trying to slow down would increase the science return but also push the arival time further into the future , still there may of course be many ways to maximise the science return from a relatively short flyby. I guess one of the best ways to sell this mission is not just as a Oumuamua flyby but due to it velocity an “Interstellar” mission as well although I don’t know if a flyby of Oumuamua would have a good trajectory out of the solar system or not.

19. Those who wait are the ones who are not prepared for what comes next.

20. This is opportunity to do something now rather than later when there is no time to do it, what if it is a alien craft sent to probe this system for life? And we didn’t probe it or intercept it to find out? There won’t be any time for next one either, you guys will say same thing, and it will be too late, that is why we should act now and be ready for the next time immediately and act now on this unknown object, its better to act than to do nothing.

21. This is opportunity to do something now rather than later when there is no time to do it, what if it is a alien craft sent to probe this system for life? And we didn’t probe it or intercept it to find out? There won’t be any time for next one either, you guys will say same thing, and it will be too late, that is why we should act now and be ready for the next time immediately and act now on this unknown object, its better to act than to do nothing.

22. Wait for the Next One…The Ramman’s do everything in threes.

23. Wait for the Next One…The Ramman’s do everything in threes.

24. A better way to chase this thing is to use the Mag-Sail. Build the probe, use the Mag-Sail to accelerate to speed sufficient to catch the object within communications range but not beyond the ability of the probe to brake and match speed when it arrives and then shut it down. Use fuel to brake (minus maneuvering reserve). Reactor for Mag-Sail can be used to power probe, communications, etc. Magsail itself could be dumped or even used to hold the probe to the surface of O-mu (pronounced Oh-Moo).

25. A better way to chase this thing is to use the Mag-Sail. Build the probe, use the Mag-Sail to accelerate to speed sufficient to catch the object within communications range but not beyond the ability of the probe to brake and match speed when it arrives and then shut it down. Use fuel to brake (minus maneuvering reserve). Reactor for Mag-Sail can be used to power probe, communications, etc. Magsail itself could be dumped or even used to hold the probe to the surface of O-mu (pronounced Oh-Moo).

26. It’s already shown it can double it’s speed. If it truly is of alien origin, can’t assume u can just catch up to it.It may be capable of much higher velocities.

27. It’s already shown it can double it’s speed. If it truly is of alien origin, can’t assume u can just catch up to it.It may be capable of much higher velocities.

28. Did somebody let their 8 year old onto their computer to write this article? I would be ashamed to put something this haphazardly written onto the internet. Word of wisdom for you Brian, you need more than spell checker in Word to write a solid article.

29. Did somebody let their 8 year old onto their computer to write this article? I would be ashamed to put something this haphazardly written onto the internet. Word of wisdom for you Brian, you need more than spell checker in Word to write a solid article.

30. Nextbigfuture believes the unique scientific value of closer examination of the Oumuamua is worth a technically challenging mission…

Dear Nextbigfuture what is your budget ?

31. Definitely get some high end recon of the possible origin of probe. There maybe more signs of Alien life there.

32. It is not a waste if you factor in development of new propulsion technology needed for mission to address what could be alien contact now and in future possible visits. Perhaps it’s time to be prepared in case of alien contact hostile or not. Hence the need for a Space Force not just for enemies on Earth but ones unknown amongst the stars.

33. It would certainly be an excellent and potentially game changing mission to chase down Oumuamua, however there are numerous problems to overcome. The only real launch possibility is SpaceX although a Falcon Super Heavy would be a non starter, while it may be possible to construct one of these a serious R&D effort would be required (it really isn’t as simple as sticking another couple of cores on) and SpaceX are already working on ther BFR / BFS combination which if all goes to plan will possibly be ready to launch in the early 2020’s and would be equally viable (if not more so) for launching a mission to Oumuamua. One of the biggest problems is the speed required, acquiring the needed velocity is not that much of an issue, while we have never got a probe to the sort of speeds needed it’s really not outside our current or very near term technology to do so, the big issue would be the relative velocity, to chase down Oumuamua a probe would need to be travelling a lot faster than Oumuamua itself which is fine while travelling there but while the speed of the New Horizons Pluto encounter was fast this would be far faster giving very limited science time. Trying to slow down would increase the science return but also push the arival time further into the future , still there may of course be many ways to maximise the science return from a relatively short flyby. I guess one of the best ways to sell this mission is not just as a Oumuamua flyby but due to it velocity an “Interstellar” mission as well although I don’t know if a flyby of Oumuamua would have a good trajectory out of the solar system or not.

34. Those who wait are the ones who are not prepared for what comes next.

35. This is opportunity to do something now rather than later when there is no time to do it, what if it is a alien craft sent to probe this system for life? And we didn’t probe it or intercept it to find out? There won’t be any time for next one either, you guys will say same thing, and it will be too late, that is why we should act now and be ready for the next time immediately and act now on this unknown object, its better to act than to do nothing.

36. waste of money

37. waste of money

38. Wait for the Next One…The Ramman’s do everything in threes.

39. A better way to chase this thing is to use the Mag-Sail. Build the probe, use the Mag-Sail to accelerate to speed sufficient to catch the object within communications range but not beyond the ability of the probe to brake and match speed when it arrives and then shut it down. Use fuel to brake (minus maneuvering reserve). Reactor for Mag-Sail can be used to power probe, communications, etc. Magsail itself could be dumped or even used to hold the probe to the surface of O-mu (pronounced Oh-Moo).

40. Calculate where it possibly came from, send some small probes that way…..juzt in case..;)

41. Calculate where it possibly came from, send some small probes that way…..juzt in case..;)

42. Also, maybe attach a probe to the probe and catch a free ride to wherever it’s going.

43. Project Orion; use nuclear propulsion to get the fast speed needed. There are plenty of nuclear devices, just need the rocket and engine.

44. Project Orion; use nuclear propulsion to get the fast speed needed. There are plenty of nuclear devices, just need the rocket and engine.

45. waste of money

46. I like this idea.

47. Yeah this. You won’t catch Umma-mana-mo with chemical rockets. Get a fully fuelled BFR in to LEO (quite a feat), have it launch a 1MW nuclear probe with a big Xenon engine.

48. For doing anything more than a few AU from the sun we want to combine the Kilopower reactor with some variant of an electric drive. Also put it into LEO with a Falcon rocket, then turn on the reactor to run the electric drive. This sounds to me like how to do the most science for the least money.

49. I like this idea.

50. Yeah this. You won’t catch Umma-mana-mo with chemical rockets. Get a fully fuelled BFR in to LEO (quite a feat), have it launch a 1MW nuclear probe with a big Xenon engine.

51. For doing anything more than a few AU from the sun we want to combine the Kilopower reactor with some variant of an electric drive. Also put it into LEO with a Falcon rocket, then turn on the reactor to run the electric drive. This sounds to me like how to do the most science for the least money.

52. One more for the audience!

53. One M80 is fun.Three is better.Bundle 5 M80s together? Where is the cat?Who can argue with a rocket with 45 first stage engines. Big fireworks.

54. So, they swing through in a Mazaratti, and we throw a rock at it?A more NBF approach might be to push the envelope a least a lil’ bit.Last year there was a proposal to send 50 small, Esail powered probes to examine hundreds of asteroids, at a cost of seventy-five million dollars. The Finish uni professor who invented the Esail, on the uni site, talks about a 1000k probe reaching a speed of 30kps after one year of operation. Smaller payloads may reach triple that speed.A solar probe-like heat shield could act like a MIRV, carrying a dozen, more capable Esail probes through the dive on Sol, then releasing the dozen chasers when it is safe for them to reel out their tethers. Launch windows would be far less resticive as it wouldn’t be necessary to make any Jupiter swing to achieve the velocity required to overtake Oumuamua, as the chasers would begin to add speed to the velocity gained by the gravity boost at the Sun.Ten of the chasers could be smaller and faster to reach their target well before the remaining two craft who would be staggered between Oumuamua and Earth to act as dedicated data relays.Having multiple shots at a close flyby would be better than one poke-and-hope probe. With some degree of capability to alter course, and shared telemetry, trailing chasers could close the gap and improve even further the odds of a close approach.A few F-9 launches are far more doable than hoping for two nonexistent F- Super H. Launching sooner means not having to travel as far to reach Oumuamua. At closest approach, Oumuamua would be moving at less then 30kps. Getting to Her, ( yes, if a ship, its a Her) sooner means a shorter distance for data to travel back to us.Cheaper and faster could include two missions, launched some months apart, allowing for even finer trajectory tuning for the second wave of chasers, as well as giving us the ability to slam one into the sucker if its (disappointingly) only an errant stone.Multiple chasers also could allow for an estimation of Her mass through Her effect on each probes course.Sometimes thinking big means thinking small.

55. MAYBE IT’LL FIND MH370.

56. One more for the audience!

57. Launch solar panels and a bunch of big lasers.Maybe also launch a big space telescope able to resolve the object.Shine on the object and see if it moves. Much quicker and the equipment can be reused afterwards.

58. Falcon Super-Heavy launches by 2021 are also a complete pipe-dream. Even if SpaceX suddenly decided to do that development, they’d need to build a completely new launch pad, transporter-erector, integration facility, etc. And even if that was remotely possible, that would be a massive hit on everything else the company is trying to do as those resources get diverted. Never happen.

59. “In late 2020, NASA launched NanoSail-D.” Wow, cool, reporting from the future! But it’s discouraging to see that even two years from now, this site will have such horrible editing. NanoSail-D was launched in 2008.

60. One M80 is fun.

Three is better.

Bundle 5 M80s together? Where is the cat?

Who can argue with a rocket with 45 first stage engines. Big fireworks.

61. So, they swing through in a Mazaratti, and we throw a rock at it?

A more NBF approach might be to push the envelope a least a lil’ bit.

Last year there was a proposal to send 50 small, Esail powered probes to examine hundreds of asteroids, at a cost of seventy-five million dollars.

The Finish uni professor who invented the Esail, on the uni site, talks about a 1000k probe reaching a speed of 30kps after one year of operation. Smaller payloads may reach triple that speed.

A solar probe-like heat shield could act like a MIRV, carrying a dozen, more capable Esail probes through the dive on Sol, then releasing the dozen chasers when it is safe for them to reel out their tethers.

Launch windows would be far less resticive as it wouldn’t be necessary to make any Jupiter swing to achieve the velocity required to overtake Oumuamua, as the chasers would begin to add speed to the velocity gained by the gravity boost at the Sun.

Ten of the chasers could be smaller and faster to reach their target well before the remaining two craft who would be staggered between Oumuamua and Earth to act as dedicated data relays.

Having multiple shots at a close flyby would be better than one poke-and-hope probe. With some degree of capability to alter course, and shared telemetry, trailing chasers could close the gap and improve even further the odds of a close approach.

A few F-9 launches are far more doable than hoping for two nonexistent F- Super H. Launching sooner means not having to travel as far to reach Oumuamua.

At closest approach, Oumuamua would be moving at less then 30kps. Getting to Her, ( yes, if a ship, its a Her) sooner means a shorter distance for data to travel back to us.

Cheaper and faster could include two missions, launched some months apart, allowing for even finer trajectory tuning for the second wave of chasers, as well as giving us the ability to slam one into the sucker if its (disappointingly) only an errant stone.

Multiple chasers also could allow for an estimation of Her mass through Her effect on each probes course.

Sometimes thinking big means thinking small.

62. MAYBE IT’LL FIND MH370.

63. Launch solar panels and a bunch of big lasers.
Maybe also launch a big space telescope able to resolve the object.
Shine on the object and see if it moves.
Much quicker and the equipment can be reused afterwards.

64. Falcon Super-Heavy launches by 2021 are also a complete pipe-dream. Even if SpaceX suddenly decided to do that development, they’d need to build a completely new launch pad, transporter-erector, integration facility, etc. And even if that was remotely possible, that would be a massive hit on everything else the company is trying to do as those resources get diverted. Never happen.

65. “In late 2020, NASA launched NanoSail-D.” Wow, cool, reporting from the future! But it’s discouraging to see that even two years from now, this site will have such horrible editing. NanoSail-D was launched in 2008.

66. For doing anything more than a few AU from the sun we want to combine the Kilopower reactor with some variant of an electric drive. Also put it into LEO with a Falcon rocket, then turn on the reactor to run the electric drive. This sounds to me like how to do the most science for the least money.

67. One M80 is fun.Three is better.Bundle 5 M80s together? Where is the cat?Who can argue with a rocket with 45 first stage engines. Big fireworks.

68. So, they swing through in a Mazaratti, and we throw a rock at it?A more NBF approach might be to push the envelope a least a lil’ bit.Last year there was a proposal to send 50 small, Esail powered probes to examine hundreds of asteroids, at a cost of seventy-five million dollars. The Finish uni professor who invented the Esail, on the uni site, talks about a 1000k probe reaching a speed of 30kps after one year of operation. Smaller payloads may reach triple that speed.A solar probe-like heat shield could act like a MIRV, carrying a dozen, more capable Esail probes through the dive on Sol, then releasing the dozen chasers when it is safe for them to reel out their tethers. Launch windows would be far less resticive as it wouldn’t be necessary to make any Jupiter swing to achieve the velocity required to overtake Oumuamua, as the chasers would begin to add speed to the velocity gained by the gravity boost at the Sun.Ten of the chasers could be smaller and faster to reach their target well before the remaining two craft who would be staggered between Oumuamua and Earth to act as dedicated data relays.Having multiple shots at a close flyby would be better than one poke-and-hope probe. With some degree of capability to alter course, and shared telemetry, trailing chasers could close the gap and improve even further the odds of a close approach.A few F-9 launches are far more doable than hoping for two nonexistent F- Super H. Launching sooner means not having to travel as far to reach Oumuamua. At closest approach, Oumuamua would be moving at less then 30kps. Getting to Her, ( yes, if a ship, its a Her) sooner means a shorter distance for data to travel back to us.Cheaper and faster could include two missions, launched some months apart, allowing for even finer trajectory tuning for the second wave of chasers, as well as giving us the ability to slam one into the sucker if its (disappointingly) only an errant stone.Multiple chasers also could allow for an estimation of Her mass through Her effect on each probes course.Sometimes thinking big means thinking small.

69. MAYBE IT’LL FIND MH370.

70. Launch solar panels and a bunch of big lasers.Maybe also launch a big space telescope able to resolve the object.Shine on the object and see if it moves. Much quicker and the equipment can be reused afterwards.

71. Falcon Super-Heavy launches by 2021 are also a complete pipe-dream. Even if SpaceX suddenly decided to do that development, they’d need to build a completely new launch pad, transporter-erector, integration facility, etc. And even if that was remotely possible, that would be a massive hit on everything else the company is trying to do as those resources get diverted. Never happen.

72. “In late 2020, NASA launched NanoSail-D.” Wow, cool, reporting from the future! But it’s discouraging to see that even two years from now, this site will have such horrible editing. NanoSail-D was launched in 2008.