Questions tagged [interplanetary]

Questions regarding spacecraft designed to travel between planets.

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3 answers
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Why didn't NASA launch communications relay satellites outside the asteroid belt to communicate easily with interstellar satellite?

I came across with nasa's voyager and other interstellar satellite, just thought that if they build a relay satellite which situated outside asteroid belt or nearby to Saturn & Jupiter, to ...
14 votes
2 answers
22k views

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 ...
-1 votes
0 answers
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What delta-v for launching Trojan asteroids or outer Jovian moon ice to crash into the earth's moon (using Jupiter gravity assist)?

Is it feasible to utilize Trojan asteroids or an outer moon of Jupiter as a water resource for Luna (earth's moon)? What would be the approximate delta-v requirements to mine ice from a Trojan ...
3 votes
2 answers
256 views

How are Interplanetary Transport Network/Weak Stability Boundary paths calculated?

While reading up a bit online, I found out about Weak Stability Boundaries and the Interplanetary transport network. How is this "path" that traverses the Solar System determined? I am aware ...
0 votes
0 answers
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What conferences have technical sessions that cover credible and transformative alternatives to chemical-rocket-based launch?

Constraints Some examples of such technologies are described on Wikipedia's Non-Rocket Spacelaunch page. But, to clarify a bit further... I found list of such technologies in Figure 2.1 of a document ...
11 votes
4 answers
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Why don't we launch spacecraft from the Moon?

The Moon has less gravity than the Earth and its own orbital speed around the Earth removes some of the velocity required to leave the Earth-Moon space, right? We could send probes or spacecraft much ...
9 votes
4 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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
283 views

Why was the ITS concept downscaled?

Note: if you have not heard of the Interplanetary Transport System or ITS, it was a 2016 concept for a fully reusable rocket which could deliver 300 tonnes of paylaod into low earth orbit. It didn't ...
1 vote
1 answer
126 views

Earth to Enceladus [closed]

Sci-fi writer needs to get from Lunar Orbit to Enceladus Orbit in least amount of time with a travel acceleration of 1.5G no more than 3G for navigation changes. What resources are available that I ...
3 votes
1 answer
173 views

How can systems of skyhooks help interplanetary travel

I recently watched a kurzgesagt video on skyhooks, and it mentions that a system of skyhook, one on Mars and one on Earth, can shorten a trip to Mars from 7-9 months to 3-5 months. I am confused on ...
1 vote
1 answer
184 views

space is a vacuum there is no drag, so would hydrogen harvesting from space to use as fuel be possible once in orbit? [closed]

If space is a vacuum and there is no drag, would hydrogen harvesting from space to use as fuel be possible?
2 votes
1 answer
113 views

How to model the gravity of Titan in GMAT

I would like to know how to find the gravity file (.cof) for Saturn's moon Titan. Need this to model the gravity field of Titan.
3 votes
3 answers
990 views

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 ...
25 votes
3 answers
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Why will JUICE take 8 years to reach Jupiter, longer than any earlier spacecraft?

Galileo took six years from Earth to Jupiter. Cassini-Huygens took three years to reach Jupiter and six years to reach Saturn. New Horizons took one year to reach Jupiter. Juno was launched in 2011 ...
1 vote
1 answer
212 views

How long would it take before we use up all the ice in the asteroid belt? [closed]

Lets say that we have an interplanetary society using the ice from asteroids to convert it into rocket fuel, how long would it take before we have used up all the ice on the asteroids. Conditions: We ...
12 votes
4 answers
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Have any bits of a space mission ever collided with a planet or large moon (not Earth) that was not a target of the mission?

For example, a mission to Mars for which some bit of hardware ended up entering Venus's atmosphere. Has this ever happened, or at least are there projections that it may happen?
2 votes
0 answers
215 views

Approach to Interplanetary Transfers in GMAT

I hope to find a straightforward process for designing interplanetary missions using the General Mission Analysis Tool (GMAT). This would involve calculating the required initial state, timing, and ...
0 votes
1 answer
65 views

Does the payload capacity of an interplanetary launch rocket increase with decreasing fuel mass or with increasing escape velocity?

Does the payload capacity of an interplanetary launch rocket increase with decreasing fuel mass or with increasing escape velocity? I was thinking that the escape velocity has nothing to do with it ...
14 votes
5 answers
5k views

Is 2001: A Space Odyssey's Discovery One still a plausible design for interplanetary travel?

in 1968 Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke created 2001: A Space Odyssey. The interplanetary spacecraft, Discovery One, was considered scientifically feasible at the time. The design included in-...
7 votes
2 answers
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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?

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. So ...
0 votes
1 answer
369 views

How long would it take Starship to get to Neptune without any flybys?

After seeing this answer (https://space.stackexchange.com/a/60438/44505) saying that starship could get to Neptune, I wondered how long it would take to get to Neptune. Bonus question: Would it be ...
5 votes
4 answers
2k views

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 ...
1 vote
2 answers
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Cyclotron engines as a means of thrust for interplanetary travel?

How feasible is it to use a cyclotron in this manner for space propulsion? Inject small amounts (aliquots) of ionized matter into cyclotron at some high integer multiple n of the cyclotron frequency $...
5 votes
2 answers
408 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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
142 views

How feasible and cost effective is a superconductive electromagnetic orbital gun for cargo transportation between the orbits of different planets? [closed]

Space is cold enough for superconductivity without active cooling, as well as being a vacuum, thus not requiring an enclosure and pumping out gas for the accelerator. Since an electromagnetic ...
2 votes
1 answer
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How much fuel is needed for the motor landing and taking off on Mars?

For example, for the Apollo lunar modules, for landing on the Moon the weight of fuel was approximately 60% of the total weight (on Wiki 8 tons of the 15 tons). For departure from the surface, the ...
40 votes
4 answers
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What uses would the Aldrin-Cycler have?

An Aldrin-Cycler is a vessel on an orbit on which it passes both Earth and Mars every few years without expending much fuel. At first glance this seems like a great thing for a permanent ...
12 votes
4 answers
7k views

Accelerometer in space

If my understanding of the General Theory of Relativity is correct, according to the Equivalence Principle, forces due to gravity and acceleration are indistinguishable. If that's the case, then an ...
3 votes
0 answers
174 views

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" ...
23 votes
2 answers
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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 ...
2 votes
3 answers
172 views

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 ...
5 votes
2 answers
209 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 ...
2 votes
0 answers
125 views

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 ...
9 votes
4 answers
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Could the ISS be propelled to Mars?

As the ISS has shown the ability for human habitation for extended periods, might we be able to add a propulsion unit to the ISS that would be capable of providing delta-v to send ISS to a martian ...
13 votes
2 answers
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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), ...
4 votes
1 answer
149 views

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 ...
6 votes
1 answer
174 views

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 ...
31 votes
5 answers
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Why not travel to Mars in 2 months?

Just to clarify: I've made some research and generally know what the case is, didn't mean to make the question sound stupid. :) I know there is a thing called Hohmann transfer orbit, named after ...
4 votes
0 answers
122 views

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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
223 views

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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
386 views

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, ...
5 votes
1 answer
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How does an onboard atomic clock help interplanetary navigation?

On 2019 June 22, JPL will launch and test the accuracy of an onboard atomic clock. Its FAQ says that it will improve interplanetary navigation because for the ship to determine its position, instead ...
0 votes
1 answer
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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
7 votes
2 answers
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Are there more operating interplanetary missions today than in the past?

From this question, we have learned that there is in fact fewer interplanetary missions being planned now than there has a decade ago. One of the items discussed as to why this might be the case is ...
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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
281 views

How were Venera's variometers able to measure extremely weak, nano-Tesla magnetic fields?

The image below is from the really interesting page Inventing The Interplanetary Probe (linked by @A.Rumlin here). Above the fluxgate magnetometer there is a pair of short tubes labeled "...
7 votes
2 answers
277 views

History of multiple-payload launches?

Another question asks why Spirit and Opportunity weren't launched together. My gut response was that multiple-payload launches were less common then than they are today, but I don't actually know if ...
26 votes
3 answers
6k views

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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
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Which object has been on other planet(s) or other natural bodies the most times? What if orbits count?

Following answer(s) to Which object has been to space the most times? answer, and related to Objects that have been on the Moon multiple times one. Question: Are there any object(s) that travelled to ...
3 votes
3 answers
214 views

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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