Questions tagged [interplanetary]

Questions regarding spacecraft designed to travel between planets.

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Why "quiet cruise" of a spacecraft would cost NASA 30 mln $ a year?

The 2022 Planetary Decadal Survey (Chapter 22) states that "quiet cruise" phase of an interplanetary spacecraft will cost about 30 million dollars a year for NASA. "Quiet cruise" ...
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2 votes
3 answers
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State vector conversion when changing central body

I have the following state vector of a spacecraft : [X, Y, Z, VX, VY, VZ]. The state vector is expressed in the inertial frame of the central body. I would like to convert this state vector when ...
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5 votes
2 answers
128 views

Spacecraft localization beyond Earth orbit

How does a spacecraft localize itself after leaving earth orbit? In robotics you can either use known broadcasting information or do real-time position tracking(some type of SLAM) but I suspect that ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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What is this figure I have obtained from this MATLAB code around Earth-Moon Lagrange point 2?

This is part of the code I used, where EM: Earth moon ...
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7 votes
2 answers
1k views

Would it be possible to get a modified SprHvy booster to orbit, then send a full stack with Starship on a "standard" config. Then mate them in orbit?

Ok, so the idea is to get a modified Superheavy booster to orbit minus Starship. Then send a Starship to orbit on a standard configuration and mate the first booster with the recently arrived Starship....
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How a continuous thrust orbit transfer can be compared with Hohmann transfer?

Suppose that I have found the solution of an optimal continuous thrust planar orbit transfer from circular orbit A to orbit B by means of a numerical method. It's considered that the mission must be ...
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13 votes
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Which 3D space simulation/visualization software (free or commercial) can I use as a post processor of data calculated with Fortran?

I'm designing a space interplanetary mission (Design of low-energy trajectories to Near Earth Objects) by using Fortran. Basically I'm working with the Circular Restricted 3 Body Problem (CR3BP), ...
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Are Interplanetary mission trajectory computations based entirely on Newtonian mechanics?

I am wondering if the application of General Relativity is ever needed(?) I assume that Newtonian mechanics is sufficient with some trajectory corrections applied as needed on route. I also assume ...
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Elon Musk's ITS Travel Time to Mars Estimate

The average travel time to Mars has been quoted to be around nine months (~ 270 days). This assumes current propulsion methods and when Mars and Earth are near each other. Musk has been quoted to say ...
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4 votes
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How much more does it cost to produce two identically designed probes/rovers/satellites compared to making only one?

There are a number of historical planetary missions that have produced 2 flying instances. Examples include Voyager, Viking, MERS, some of the Mariners missions. Other missions have only one ...
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6 votes
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How did Venus Express' periapsis decay so quickly?

ESA's Venus Express ran out of propellant in late 2014 and has probably decayed out of orbit since then. A timeline of events from my research for my answer to Are there currently any spacecraft in ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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How to calculate an initial impulse for escape from planet's sphere of influence and lay on a specific orbit around the Sun?

I have a spacecraft parked on orbit around the planet. I want to make interplanetary transfer to another planet. I can find the orbit around the Sun that I can use to move from the end of departure ...
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Spin-stabilization of a NASA rover en route to Mars. What and why?

This NASA's site describes a launch sequence of a rover towards Mars, from which we can read: Before the third stage's rocket is fired to get the spacecraft out of Earth orbit and on its way to Mars, ...
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Standing still to move forward [closed]

If our galaxy is tracking through space at ~1.3mm, couldn’t we arrive at point B if we came to a stop at point A. i.e. decelerate to -1 g
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18 votes
5 answers
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Exactly why does Starship need to be this big for interplanetary travel?

As discussed in several answers to Isn't Starship way too big? Starship's unusual size is due to it being intended for missions to the Red Planet. But why? Even a smaller ship could satisfy the ...
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26 votes
3 answers
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Are there any greater risks of traveling significantly faster to another planet?

Earlier I had thought that space ships can strike against space rocks while traveling to another planet. But I've read that space is vastly empty, it's highly unlikely that something will come in the ...
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Why allow communication with interplanetary spacecraft to be silent for stretches of time; only getting updates on certain days & times of the week?

Communication between planetary bodies in space, e.g. from the moon, or Mars, takes a long time and has many shortcomings, like line of sight requirements. Communication with interplanetary spacecraft ...
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11 votes
3 answers
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Is the life support system on ISS and other used manned spacecrafts fully redundant?

I just finished watching the Sci-Fi movie Stowaway where the crew of the spacecraft MTS-42 heading to Mars, gets in all kind of troubles after the failure of the single life support system. My ...
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Would a spaceplane be able to softly land on an airless planet?

Assuming the spaceplane has no vertical (hover)engines, is there a possibility to land a spaceplane on a celestial body without atmosphere in a horizontal way as if it had one? One could lower the ...
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1 answer
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Query on artifical gravity via symmetrical tethered rotation

Has there been any consideration to the use of a tether between to identical space vehicles (e.g. two SpaceX Starships) to induce artifical gravity? I think you would need a diameter that could only ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Obtaining orbital parameters of a closed orbit given the characteristics of the arrival hyperbolic orbit

According to this paper (page 8) by ESA, given the $v_{inf}$, the right-ascension and the declination of the arrival hyperbolic asymptote, it is possbile to find a loci of pericenters of different ...
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Why is it that harmful for astronauts and technology to get too far into Jupiter's magnetosphere? Shouldn't it rather be protective?

Jupiter's radiation belts make it impossible for astronauts to stay on Io, Europa and Ganymede over extended periods of time, as well as getting too close to Jupiter at all. I wonder how close would ...
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1 answer
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Interplanetary secondary payload

Have there been any interplanetary secondary payloads? If there were none, are any such payloads planned? I consider two options: launcher rocket's destination is Earth's orbit (LEO etc.), then ...
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1 vote
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Future plans and advances for improved extrasolar planet imaging; has anything changed since 2019?

I have seen What is the state of the art of exosolar planet imaging in 2019? but answers there simply address the types and quality of images. Here I'd like to ask about plans for future technology to ...
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Asteroid orbiting between Earth and Mars as ferry?

What if we moved a large asteroid to a highly elliptical orbit between Earth and Mars and then occupied it like we occupy the ISS? It'd be a slow trip to Mars, but if we're in no rush, we'd get free ...
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14 votes
4 answers
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Why is it so hard to build crewed rockets/spacecraft able to reach escape velocity?

Why are we still not going farther than to Low Earth Orbit? Orbital velocity is about 4.8 mi/s (7.7 km/s) and escape velocity is about 7 mi/s (11.2 km/s), about 45% faster. Why is it so hard to reach ...
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Direction of heliocentric entry velocity for fly-by coming from interplanetary Hohmann transfer?

I'm following Curtis's equation on interplanetary transfers. I'm confused by the direction of the entry Heliocentric velocity for a fly-by. If the assumptions is that orbits are: Coplanar, cofocal ...
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Could we intentionally contaminate another celestial body with life to start producing oxygen?

My question is simple, could we "nuke" a planet with life to create an atmosphere over time? I was seeing a documentary about Jupiter's moon, Europa, and how it could have hydro thermal ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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One mothership and many droneships concept for interplanetary travel

In sci-fi movies, like Independence Day, we find one big mothership flanked by many small droneships. Take-off and landing giant spaceship is technically difficult and dangerous. The landing surface ...
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Updating of TAI

In spaceflight keeping track of time between systems widely separated in space (e.g. people on Earth vs spacecraft in deep space) and/or time, moving at substantial relative velocities and in ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Range of travel time between particular planets using the Interplanetary Transport Network/Interplanetary Superhighway?

I understand the Interplanetary Transport Network allows for travel at low speeds between different planets in the solar system using very little energy. Is there flexibility in how long it would take ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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When the magnetic poles of the Sun flip (once in 11 years), is the Earth hit by more galactic cosmic rays?

The Sun protects us from cosmic rays from beyond the solar system. Every 11 years, the Sun's poles reverse. Solar cosmic rays are greatest during the reversal. During the reversal, are we hit by more ...
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45 votes
6 answers
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Would it be easier to put humans on Venus rather than Mars?

With all the speculation of manned missions to Mars, there is very little talk of a manned mission to Venus (whose orbit is closer to the orbit of Earth than mars is). That being said, would it be ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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Is it possible to send a CubeSat to Saturn/Enceladus?

I was wondering if it is technologically possible to send a CubeSat/Nanosatellites or constellation of nanosatellites to explore the water vapor jets in the southern region of Enceladus in the Saturn ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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An orbit in the corner of isosceles right-angled triangle

Is it possible to have a non-escape orbit that is equidistant to two celestial bodies (for example, Earth and Mars) at all times? If possible, how much does it cost to keep an object (which is much ...
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2 votes
0 answers
87 views

Magnetic braking for interplanetary journeys?

One proposed use for a magnetic sail is to allow an interstellar spacecraft to brake as it approaches its destination. But could a magnetic sail also slow down a spacecraft traveling between planets? ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Optimal point in LEO to perform interplanetary injection burn

I wrote a simulation program in Python to calculate Earth <-> Mars trajectories. Now I would like to test it agains well known trajectories. I used NASA Ames Research Center Trajectory Browser ...
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12 votes
2 answers
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Is the concept of the Epstein Drive based on actual theorized scientific research which is considered plausable?

I've always found it interesting when we see real life taking its cues from fictional arts, especially when it comes to Science Fiction technology. There are plenty of examples of classic books, TV ...
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5 votes
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Tradeoffs sending a tank of fuel ahead of a crewed mission to another planet?

This is something that I'd seen in the BBC fictional documentary Voyage to the Planets. There, as the crew arrives in the orbit of Mars, there's a tank that has already been sent there so that the ...
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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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2 votes
1 answer
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Would a long-term network of relay satellites but worthwhile for interplanetary communication? [duplicate]

Communication rates with probes in the outer solar systems are extremely low (Voyager is ~160 bps), because of the inverse square law and the extreme distances involved. Achieving these rates ...
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9 votes
3 answers
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Why was there never a lander for the Martian north polar cap?

Since the Martian poles are water ice caps, belong to the most likely locations on Mars to host life, and the north pole being the most likely place for a crewed mission, it seems reasonable that one ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Interplanetary space mission debris orbits

I was wondering if anyone knew about a database of orbits for debris from previous interplanetary space missions. I am referring to debris or expired missions by NASA, ESA, JAXA, etc. I know there are ...
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5 votes
1 answer
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How much thrust is "high" thrust (for orbital transfers)

I understand that chemical rockets and nuclear thermal rockets (and possibly very high power electrical thrusters) are considered to provide "high" thrust for orbital transfers, while electrical ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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Could the kinetic energy in the Sun's solar wind power an ion propulsion system for an interplanetary spacecraft?

I am wondering if the kinetic energy of the Sun's solar wind could energize heavy ions to the point in which they would produce enough momentum to propel an interplanetary spacecraft. To help ...
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2 votes
1 answer
240 views

Issue with the Gauss problem for solving interplanetary trajectories

Blue is Earth, Red is Mars, Orange is Jupiter and all the whites are Earth to Mars trajectories. The odd trajectory lines in the middle are the problem I'm trying to solve. As you can see in the ...
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1 answer
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Will SpaceX Starship have launch abort system? [duplicate]

Since future SpaceX Starship is planned as long duration passenger spacecraft for multiplanetary transport will it have launch abort system? Also how is crew evacuation planned during interplanetary ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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Thrust value for a metallic hydrogen rocket-propelled spacecraft traveling on brachistochrone trajectories?

Using the attached nomogram for computing brachistochrone trajectories to other bodies throughout our solar system, I am working with the assumption that this spacecraft travels with a constant ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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How can the download speed increase from space probes?

It always seems to be a genuine question that is How can we download data from far away probes in instant. When New Horizons reached Ultima Thule, it took us quite a few months to have a great picture ...
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20 votes
3 answers
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Why are we interested in visiting the giant planets' icy moons?

I have noticed lately that future missions by NASA and ESA are targeted towards the moons of Jupiter and Saturn. They mention that they might be a possibility of life; the icy moons they are focusing ...
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