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While going through links mentioned in What software can be used to determine deep-space trajectories? and What are the choices today for orbital mechanics simulation software?, I find that a great many (if not most) high-end trajectory analysis software depend on JPL DE files for their ephemeris data. Any chance that Sedna or other TNOs are covered already in the latest versions, or does our potential Sedna mission design team have to resort to the Mark One Cranium Computer?

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Yes, we have good orbital elements for Sedna.

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  • $\begingroup$ Awesome. And it looks like DE431 has such a long time span you could plan a trip for Sedna's next go-round. $\endgroup$ – Jerard Puckett Feb 22 '14 at 14:52
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    $\begingroup$ That time span does not apply to Sedna. It's orbital elements are good enough to plan for a visit this century, but that's it. While the next periapsis is known to within five days, the uncertainty in the orbital period is 60 years (one sigma). $\endgroup$ – Mark Adler Feb 22 '14 at 15:30
  • $\begingroup$ You will probably be interested in this question: space.stackexchange.com/questions/3556/… $\endgroup$ – Stu Feb 24 '14 at 21:44
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    $\begingroup$ @Stu Mark already answered it and Jerard was the one that asked it. ;) $\endgroup$ – TildalWave Feb 25 '14 at 1:16
  • $\begingroup$ haha should have checked that! $\endgroup$ – Stu Feb 25 '14 at 16:57

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