Questions tagged [flyby]

Questions regarding flyby in which the spacecraft flies near celestial object in a hyperbolic path for scientific explorations. Such flybies may also be made to increase velocity or reduce the velocity via a gravitational assist.

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4 votes
2 answers
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How would a Jupiter flyby have helped to get to the Sun? Why was it later ruled out?

The quote below surprised me. What were the orbital mechanical details of using a Jupiter flyby to get a probe from Earth so close to the Sun? Was a "U-turn" possible; single flyby of Jupiter into a ...
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14 votes
1 answer
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How is JunoCam different from a normal CCD camera?

JunoCam has tweeted us! More background from the BBC. It is supposed to have several features that help allow it to work in the high radiation and magnetic fields it will experience during each ...
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17 votes
2 answers
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How to calculate Delta V for lunar flyby

As I understand the idea of a lunar flyby, you can pass a spacecraft by the far side of the moon without having to burn fuel to decrease your momentum and get to LLO (Low Lunar Orbit). But it seems ...
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2 answers
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Is the Flyby Anomaly still a thing?

The Flyby Anomaly is a name given to an unexplained, unexpected difference between the best theoretical calculation of a change in several different spacecraft's velocities due to flyby (Gravity ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Does JPL's Horizons have better MU69 state vectors for the New Horizons flyby somewhere?

Today I downloaded the state vectors for New Horizons and MU69 Arrokoth and subtracted their positions. The two new get closer than about 596,000 kilometers. The New Horizons output header says: <...
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7 votes
1 answer
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What angular resolution is expected during New Horizon's flyby of Ultima Thule?

Ultima Thule is thought to be about 20 miles (30 km) across. However, I can't seem to find any information about approach distance or typical image resolution of New Horizons in regards to this second ...
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9 votes
1 answer
395 views

Why would Cassini need to reach 64 degrees inclination before "threading the needle"?

The NY Times article Cassini’s Final Mission: Obliteration says that the Cassini spacecraft will end it's more than a decade long exploration of the Saturn system by raising the inclination of its ...
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8 votes
1 answer
560 views

Delta-v obtained from Titan by the Cassini spacecraft; just how much of a "gas tank" was it?

In the video Cassini at Titan: A World Unveiled after about 01:56 Linda Spilker, Cassini Project Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory says: Not only was Titan ...
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3 votes
1 answer
734 views

How much less delta-v would it take to reach the Sun using Venus and Earth flyby's compared to direct?

@TomSpilker showed that the minimum delta-v to go from Earth orbit into the Sun is about 20.89 km/s. That's going from 200 km LEO to "perihelion at the sun's photosphere (guaranteed complete entry!)" ...
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4 votes
0 answers
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How are B-Plane parameters actually determined for a planetary flyby?

Reading from this document, I am trying to simulate the New Horizons probe trajectory in GMAT and I am puzzled with how the authors of the original paper (by legendary mission designer Robert W. ...
4 votes
1 answer
333 views

How to calculate New Horizons' MVIC camera max resolution at Pluto and Ultima Thule?

I am in trouble calculating the ground resolution of MVIC instrument onboard New Horizons; I found several documents about MVIC specs, like this one: http://www.boulder.swri.edu/pkb/ssr/ssr-payload-...
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10 votes
1 answer
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Are any software updates scheduled for Juno?

So Juno approaches seeking her gravity assist. During the course of the maneuver several on-board systems shall be powered up - in all probability they are nominal, having already been checked-out ...
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3 votes
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History of the planetary flyby for gravitational assist; first conception, mathematical demonstration, plan, and execution?

Planetary flybys for gravitational assists are a stable of deep space missions. When did the following things happen? First documented realization that gravitational assists in spaceflight were ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What are these mysterious white star-like dots near MU69 Ultima Thule? Real objects near the asteroid, noise, cosmic rays, or something else?

NOTE: I think either possibility suggested below is possible, I'm not looking for arguments why one of them would be your favorite like this answer. Instead, I'm looking for a fairly conclusive answer;...
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11 votes
2 answers
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How close to 2014 MU₆₉ can New Horizons get?

New Horizons is en-route to 2014 MU₆₉, where it is planned to fly by 1 January 2019. Considering fuel and other considerations, how close to 2014 MU₆₉ can it get? (At the time of writing, October ...
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6 votes
1 answer
275 views

How to design a lunar flyby trajectory in GMAT?

I am trying to design a flyby mission to the moon using electric propulsion on GMAT. I've gone through the tutorials, however, the most useful one "Lunar Flyby to the moon using multiple shooting&...
9 votes
1 answer
299 views

New Horizons - Orientation in space

How does the New Horizons probe know it's close to Pluto and turn its science instruments towards Pluto and other targets of its observations during the flyby?
7 votes
2 answers
359 views

What are the gravitational assist effects on the inclination of a probe's trajectory, from passing by Jupiter at different latitudes?

A flyby probe at Jupiter gets its inclination, relative to the ecliptic, changed if it passes above or below Jupiter's equator. How sensitive is a trajectory to this effect? I imagine that there ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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How does a spacecraft navigate along and jump between constant v-inf lines depicted in Tisserand graphs?

Below is an example Tisserand graph showing interplanetary trajectories (in bold black). The first one represents a trajectory from Earth till the Mercury system. In the second one, the spacecraft ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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When New Horizons is closest to Pluto, how fast will it be going (km/s)?

I've been googling this question because I haven't seen the answer anywhere, yet I know it must be calculated with a high degree of precision. Anyone know if it will be faster or slower than its 13.8 ...
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4 votes
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(How well) Did Juno provide any insight into the Flyby Anomaly?

I ran across an old BBC article titled Juno: The spacecraft putting sling theory to the test — Why a probe passing our planet on its way to Jupiter might end a decades-old mystery, and reveal ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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A constant parameter in a three body system?

In a two body system, there are a lot of orbital parameters not changing over time, like eccentricity or the orbital plane. A constant parameter can be a combination of two or more, like even though ...
14 votes
1 answer
967 views

Do Mariner 4 hand rendered images still exist?

At the NASA web site is a story about how the first images returned from Mariner 4 were rendered by hand. Do these images still exist, for example in a museum?
9 votes
1 answer
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When will 3 outer planets line up for a flyby mission next time?

All 4 outer planets line up once every 175 years. 2 of them line up at least once every orbit Jupiter makes, about every 12 years. But how often do 3 of the outer planets line up? Here's a simple ...
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5 votes
2 answers
322 views

Would it be practical to fly a probe to Mars using gravitational assistance from Venus?

I decided to fly to Mars in KSP using a slingshot of Venus to see if I could save fuel. Since Venus is closer to Earth, you need less fuel to get there. When I tested it I used less fuel, but the ...
5 votes
1 answer
321 views

Flyby puzzler; starting from Earth, how many times can you use Jupiter flybys in one century?

Is there any limit to how many times you can increase velocity by repeated sling shot manoeuvres? and its answers have got me thinking, and that's always dangerous. Suppose you have a durable RTG-...
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4 votes
0 answers
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How many solar system bodies have had their magnetic fields directly measured?

Discussion below this post lead me to wonder: Question: How many solar system bodies have had their magnetic fields directly measured? Inferences from radio or spectroscopic observations don't count ...
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4 votes
2 answers
281 views

Do New Horizons Pluto flyby results justify an advanced orbiter mission to the Pluto-Charon system?

It's going to be another year before all of the data that New Horizons gathered is finally transmitted to Earth, but based on current science return, does what's been received so far warrant an ...
4 votes
1 answer
223 views

Any news of TESS' lunar flyby; how well did go?

According to this TESS tweet: TESS is on track for a lunar flyby on 17 May at 06:34:35 UTC (2:34 AM EST). At this point, TESS will be 8,253 km from the lunar surface. In the coming days, follow @...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Did New Horizons look for "sailboats" in the Pluto-Charon system's sailboat region? Did it pass through it or avoid it?

In this answer to If we could send an orbiter to the Pluto-Charon system, could we put it in a stable orbit? I wrote: Totally by accident I've just happened to run across the 2014 open access paper A ...
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