Linked Questions

85 votes
7 answers
24k views

What can the KSP game actually teach about spaceflight and orbital mechanics, and what are its limitations?

I have seen at least several different users mention that they've found Kerbal Space Program helpful to understand issues of spaceflight and orbital mechanics. According to Wikipedia: While the game ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
14 votes
4 answers
6k views

Are patched conics (and by induction, KSP) "useless" for simulating ion propulsion?

My previous KSP question What can the KSP game actually teach about spaceflight and orbital mechanics, and what are its limitations? resulted in some really productive discussions and under-the-hood ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
14 votes
4 answers
1k views

Was the Apollo spacecraft always gravitationally bound to the Earth-Moon system?

When the Apollo spacecraft was en route to the Moon, was it an escape trajectory from the Earth-Moon system? If not for the burn(s) to enter lunar orbit, would it have continued in an independent ...
Anthony X's user avatar
  • 17.5k
8 votes
3 answers
3k views

Have light gases like hydrogen or helium been explored for ion propulsion?

This answer and discussion in comments below this answer mention that for an ion of mass $m$ and charge $q$ accelerated by a voltage $V$ the momentum it receives (impulse) is $$p = \sqrt{2mqV} = \...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
9 votes
3 answers
1k views

By what methods can cubesats move from LEO to higher orbits?

If a cubesat is launched as secondary payload to LEO, what ways are there to put it in a higher orbit, for example outside of the van Allen belt to make a radiation experiment? The ISS launches ...
LocalFluff's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
2k views

Could a cubesat be self propelled to the moon from LEO?

Is it possible with current technologies to propel a cubesat, which is launched from Earth, to the moon? If current propulsion systems are able to do so, how do I continue the research in this topic ...
reason1337's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
2k views

Thrust and rotation strategy to circularize a standard GTO orbit using ion propulsion?

The previous question How much time does it take to circularize a GTO orbit using ion propulsion? has a good, quantitative answer based on a known delta-v. But I'm wondering how would you actually ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
4 votes
2 answers
1k views

How will the Lunar Gateway go to L2 and L1; how much delta-v is needed?

In a talk to the press which can be heard in the YouTube video NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine Explains the Lunar Gateway, NASA director Jim Bridenstine says after about ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
6 votes
1 answer
474 views

Is there a fairly detailed outline of CAPSTONE's "highly efficient ballistic lunar transfer trajectory" from LEO to lunar near-rectilinear halo orbit?

NASA Ames's feature CAPSTONE’s CubeSat Prepares for Lunar Flight says CAPSTONE will use a hydrazine-fueled propulsion system during most of its three- to four- month journey to the Moon. This line of ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
6 votes
1 answer
578 views

What are the parameters of the new Iodine electrical rocket engine developed by RSC Energia?

Several news outlets are reporting Energia Rocket and Space Corporation is nearing completion of a new electrical rocket engine using iodine stored as a solid and vaporized as needed. The new ...
SF.'s user avatar
  • 55k
4 votes
1 answer
355 views

What's the lowest altitude that an ion engine has been used for a significant orbital maneuver?

I'm thinking about trying to calculate something for Where do ion propulsion's ions go? Do they remain in the solar system or shoot out into interstellar space? Excluding low altitude tests of ion ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
3 votes
1 answer
297 views

How many spacecraft deployed from the ISS have escaped Earth orbit? Are there plans for any in the near future?

After reading Why did the Ulysses probe reach Jupiter much faster than Galileo? and answers to How many Space Shuttle payloads ended up beyond Earth orbit? and also What's the largest rocket that was ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
4 votes
1 answer
200 views

Can ion propulsion system be used to maintain lunar orbit?

I am doing research on propulsion systems and it was suggested that I use an ion propulsion system for a theoretical satellite I am tasked with designing, I need to maintain orbit for three years ...
Sam's user avatar
  • 73
-4 votes
2 answers
325 views

Russell's Teapot - has it been done yet?

Has anyone sent a china teapot into orbit, to "solve" the long standing Russell's Teapot argument? I realize this is a "joke" endevour, but with the advent of easily available ...
Thomas's user avatar
  • 17
5 votes
1 answer
260 views

References for constant low-thrust spiral up-coast-spiral down phasing maneuvers for circular and non-circular orbits?

I am trying to find papers that describe constant low-thrust spiral up-coast-spiral down phasing maneuvers for circular and non-circular orbits. The thrust is assumed to be fixed at $T_{const}$ when ...
procyon's user avatar
  • 131

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