Suppose I have an idea for a better way to go from planet A to planet B. What do I need to do to determine the delta-V required and efficiency in terms of reducing necessary shielding mass on the vehicle that actually travels? What software should I use to simulate the orbits and figure out the windows? Are there any guides to this process?

  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, it looks like it overlaps a bit, but I'm still curious about what software I need to get answers to questions like delta-V requirements and designing it myself instead of reading the answer. $\endgroup$ – Watson Ladd Dec 19 '16 at 1:30
  • $\begingroup$ An object with a 2 year period might pass by earth every 2nd year at perihelion. But it would very seldom pass by Mars. For regular and frequent fly bys of both planets, it needs to be resonant with both planets. Some strings to Google: Aldrin Cyclers Visit 1 Cyclers Visit 2 Cyclers. The Aldrin Cycler has an aphelion out in the Main Belt. Delta V for Cycler to Mars taxi would be 9 km/s if memory serves. The Visit 1 and 2 cyclers are more Hohmann like and take less delta V. But their fly bys are less frequent. $\endgroup$ – HopDavid Dec 19 '16 at 5:28
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    $\begingroup$ I disagree that this question is a duplicate, altough I think the premise is flawed because an object in a 2:1 resonance orbit with Earth will hardly ever actually encounter Mars when it passes through Mar's orbit: mars will be elsewhere. There would be other problems too. Anyway, I feel this question is fine if it's primarily about 2:1 resonance orbits, rather than interplanetary ferries. $\endgroup$ – Blake Walsh Dec 19 '16 at 18:40