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Questions tagged [interplanetary]

Questions regarding spacecraft designed to travel between planets.

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Could the BFR Tanker be used as an artificial gravity counterweight for interplanetary travel?

An alternative storyline to the Mars transport architecture: Tankers refuel starship, last Tanker gets mounted on the Starship for the Mars orbital injection burn, once on a Martian trajectory tanker ...
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Orbit to Orbit Transport Stage

Would it be faster or cheaper to have a lander, SSTO, and/or Space X Mars rocket to rendezvous connect with a more efficient engine or "transport stage" or another lander, SSTO? When the spacecraft ...
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What is a safe speed in space for spacecraft?

Does traveling fast as possible shortening the duration of the mission lessen chances of collision or mechanical failure, or does traveling slower in space in some way safer?
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Probing gas giant planets by descending through a cyclones's “eye”?

On Earth cyclones have regions of calm weather commonly known as eyes. They appear to create tunnels spreading from the top of the atmosphere down to the sea level. Wikipedia article mentions their ...
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1answer
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What are the trade-offs to use a radio relay orbiter also as a radar science instrument?

Any landed mission could benefit from having an orbiting radio relay satellite to help enhance its data rate to Earth. For polar landers on for example the Moon or Mercury it would be a necessity. For ...
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Titan vs Mars for colonization

This question is along the same vein as Venus vs Mars for colonization but without the person at the table. Is Mars better than Titan which to me seems a more realistic option for colonization? With ...
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Traveling through the asteriod belt?

The question What's the (particle) density of the asteroid belt? is about the density of objects in the asteroid belt. As a follow up related question and what I am interested in: When we send ...
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What are the limiting factors for interplanetary mission trajectories?

Besides the hard limit of available Delta V, and the soft limit of the time to destination, what are the main constraints when planning an interplanetary mission? I'm thinking things like maximum ...
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Pictures from Mars

How is it that NASA receives broadcasts from 300 million miles away but Sprint needs to install transmitters every 500ft for 5G wireless?
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Travel Speed in Space

I have read several questions and answers here concerning achieving speeds beyond the typical deep-space exploration missions. While speed increases near the Sun for example, that can't be applied to ...
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Is a ballistic blimp entry possible on this way?

Could the entry of Mars with balloons work by inflating to equalize with the atmospheric air pressure, while establishing buoyancy before meeting the ground? Would a balloon pop if dropped from space?...
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282 views

Liquid shield for spacecraft? [closed]

Could an alloy of hot or cold liquid metal be made magnetic by adding electricity to the molten ball to give it magnetic properties to wirelessly attach it to a space craft to use as a shield shown in ...
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How does the speed and volume of particles differ in producing thrust in space?

Does a slower detonation velocity push a ship more the same way explosives with a slower detonation velocity moves dirt better? At the same rate does slower particles produce more thrust from a ...
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1answer
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Does a one way mission to Mars make more economic and scientific sense than a two way mission?

A one way mission skips any return rocket needs, extends the research mission by decades and slowly builds up the infrastructure on the surface. The longer mission on Mars would require regular ...
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1answer
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How does Accion System's TILE propulsion module compare to an equivalently sized Hall effect or an Ion thruster?

Accion systems claims that it's TILE propulsion module can be scaled up to match the performance of a Hall effect or Ion thruster minus the clunky tanks and propulsion management systems. This would ...
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Ion thrusters trip time

Suppose we had a fully equipped nuclear powered ion thruster starship. If it had a constant rate of acceleration of 1g, taking into account the fact that at the half way point you would have to turn ...
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Assuming a spacecraft is traveling in a constant rate and our Astronaut will exit it to a space walk, will he be “left behind” by the spacecraft?

Lets say our Spacecraft is traveling to a remote Galaxy at a constant speed of 1/X of the speed of light. A brave Astronaut is leaving the spacecraft to a space walk, while not being attached to the ...
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1answer
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Orbit ephemeris or visualization for the BepiColombo mission?

Where is it possible to see the progress of the BepiColombo mission in terms of ephemeris and or graphical visualisation? I should add, I've checked JPL Horizons, though its not clear how to specify ...
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Is Hohmann transfer the most frequent transfer orbit?

I have to complete a project for a university exam. The task is to design an interplanetary trajectory from Earth to Saturn, and to compare it with a Hohmann transfer to the same planet. I also have ...
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Which planet gets the most money? Which gets the least?

I'm curious if anyone has ever tallied the expenditures of all of the world's space programs, and then tried to divide it by which planet was targeted. It's possible this has already been done. If ...
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Would a Martian landing and take off require a flame trench/deflector?

Flame trenches/deflectors are essential for avoiding reflections of acoustic waves from damaging the rocket system while taking off. This is discussed in this YouTube video - Why doesn't the sound of ...
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1answer
157 views

How precise are spacecraft trajectory measurements?

Interplanetary mission trajectories are frequently likened in popular media to hitting a small target with a dart from vast distances, but in reality, spacecraft don't need absurdly high precision, ...
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What is the importance of thrust control history in low-thrust optimization?

As I have mentioned before, I am trying to optimize an Earth - Mars low-thrust transfer using a particular method. It has been mentioned to me, and I have seen it in many papers, that thrust history ...
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1answer
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Low arrival V-infinity?

So I am modelling an Earth - Mars low thrust trajectory in a simple manner. I'm telling my model to not model any trajectories where the spacecraft is moving any more than 200 m/s quicker or slower ...
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1answer
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How much asteroid can we divert from the Earth?

There are many movies with the Earth being saved by sending a bomb out blow up the asteroid. What realistically could we do to that degree today? Do we have interplanetary missiles? if so how much of ...
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How does the Parker Solar Probe have such a wide launch window?

The Parker Solar Probe is set to launch on August 11th 2018. It will perform 7 orbit-lowering gravity assists around Venus for ~6 years before reaching its final operational orbit. It has been well ...
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1answer
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Full Mission Analysis elements?

I am trying to complete a full trajectory design and analysis for a low thrust interplanetary mission to Mars. Right now, computing optimal trajectories from Earth to Mars for a number of dates and ...
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Floating Launch

Can a space rocket launch if it had no platform underneath it? If a blimp could lift a rocket into the stratosphere to launch, What problems would arise and how big would it be? What prevents a blimp/...
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Is Nibiru real or totally science fiction?

I have seen lots of YouTube videos stating about Nibiru. They say, that Nibiru is approaching towards earth. Few of the videos claim, that space maps (Google) hide Nibiru with a black patch. Few years ...
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1answer
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How to get Ltool by Martin et.al?

I am just starting work on dynamics of CRTBP. Over several papers I see that "Ltool" is used for trajectory design, But I am unable to find over internet. Can somebody help me to identfy how to ...
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7answers
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What is the rarest launch window?

What situation would make a launch window rare? What is the rarest known launch window?
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Is this description of the “dipole drive” and how it would work physically correct?

Comments in chat have noted the recent post in the Centauri Dreams blog titled The Dipole Drive: A New Concept for Space Propulsion. In contrast to the single positively charged screen employed by ...
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Laser communication for interplanetary probes - aiming is impossible without beacon?

Laser communications are considered very promising for interplanetary probes because of potentially much higher data rates. I found that laser communication at large distances (over 3 a.u. ~ 450 ...
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MATLAB optimization script for Low - Thrust trajectory

I'm trying to write a script for a 'shape based' trajectory, based on the exponential sinusoid shape, for an Earth - Mars transfer. Essentially, I know where I want to start, and I know where I want ...
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Solar Flux on Mars Surface

Considering that the Solar Flux on top of Mars' atmosphere is 590 W/m2 (following the 1/r^2 relation for sunlight), how much of this incident light actually arrives to Mars. In other words, what is ...
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1answer
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How are meteoroids, asteroids and debris in space tracked?

How far, small, and fast can meteors be detected?
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How might the experience of a trip to Mars differ in comfort and heath impact from a stint on the ISS?

A comment below the question How will they mitigate the effect microgravity in the BFR on manned trip to mars? suggests that the trip might be as short as 3 months, which is significantly shorter than ...
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How do I calculate wait time to launch?

I want to transfer between two planets using Hohmann transfers and the patched conic approach. However, I am struggling to figure out how long I have to wait at the starting planet (say Uranus) until ...
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Is it viable to use one or more BFR tankers as interplanetary boosters

Is it viable to Start the BFR mars burn while the ship is attached to one or more refueling boosters? (Imagine interplanetary booster) Using their combined engines the ship can achieve greater ...
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Current position of Starman

Have looked at current videos of Starman and not found data as to it's current position. Is there a site plotting the current position of Starman?
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What aspects of reentry heating 'scale as the 8th power'?

Elon Musk just commented in the post Falcon Heavy Test Flight press conference that reentering at interplanetary velocities means dealing with 'some of the heating things that scale to the 8th power'. ...
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1answer
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How do I calculate the delta-v with patched conics?

I am trying to calculate the delta-v between Kerbin and Duna from a 70 km circular orbit around Kerbin just to do a flyby of Duna. However, I am running into a couple of difficulties with my ...
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1answer
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Could BNNTs be used for Whipple Shield designs?

BNNTs are a upcoming and promising nano-tube for space exploration. Featuring a young's modulus similar to diamond [1] and offering extensive radiation protection [2], Could BNNTs be utilized in a ...
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1answer
131 views

From which direction should a spacecraft intercept a target planet's sphere of influence for an inner-to-outer planet trajectory?

Suppose a spacecraft is on an interplanetary Hohmann transfer trajectory from an inner planet to an outer planet. When the spacecraft finally enters the target planet's sphere of influence, which ...
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What is the characteristic time to reach a hyperbolic excess velocity within a sphere of influence?

When departing a planet using a hyperbolic trajectory, one should ideally reach the sphere of influence boundary with an excess velocity needed for interplanetary transfer. Of course, the true excess ...
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What factors determine how long a window of opportunity opens for an interplanetary hohmann transfer?

I know that one can determine the approximate wait time for a window of opportunity to open up for an interplanetary transfer based on the relative positions and velocities of the two planets in ...
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How can I control the departure and arrival aiming radii in an ideal interplanetary trajectory?

Suppose I am executing an interplanetary rendevous (Hohmann transfer) between two coplanar, perfectly spherical planets, each with circular orbits. The goal is to execute a hyperbolic escape from a ...
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Did the Soviet TMK crew have any chance of survival with the knowledge and technology of its era?

In response to the United States announcement of manned moon landing plans, the Soviet Union announced the TMK program. This program would have sent manned missions to Venus and Mars. The original ...
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How thick must a shield be to be better than no shield at all?

Below an answer to a recent question about shielding against radiation on a trip to Mars, there was this comment from dubu (emphasis mine): [..] For high-energy particles entering dense matter, ...
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What's the marginal cost of a second interplanetary space probe copy, like Voyager 2 or Viking 2?

During the old space race days, launching double or multiple scientific probe copies seems to have been the standard. It should have the advantage of sharing the one time fixed development costs while ...