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I am new to GMAT, and I am wondering if it is possible to simulate a multi-stage lunar transfer on GMAT?

The mission sequence I am hoping to model is a low earth orbit, followed by a trans-lunar injection burn, after which the satellite (a lunar lander) separates from the launcher (eg. a Falcon 9) and propagates to the moon, and performs a lunar orbit insertion burn.

Is this possible? If so, how can I go about doing it? Thank you very much in advance!

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  • $\begingroup$ As far as I am concerned, vehicle separation is not supported by the GMAT. So in your mission sequence you'd have to include some simplified assumptions with respect to the lack of this functionality. Apart from that, all of the mission sequence stages are doable with GMAT. You can check out their User Manual document for the Mars B-plane targeting tutorial for some reference. $\endgroup$ – prop-a-gator Jan 10 '20 at 8:49
  • $\begingroup$ Is there any way to go around it then, for example modeling two satellites and propagating them separately (at the different stages)? $\endgroup$ – Lisa Jan 11 '20 at 5:27
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, AFAIK you can setup such set of conditions with the help of the GMAT's scripting tool. I recommend you to check out GMAT's 'Optimal Lunar Flyby using Multiple Shooting' Tutorial, which is included to the User's Guide. There, creation of separate spacecraft for separate segments is used. $\endgroup$ – prop-a-gator Jan 13 '20 at 8:30

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