Questions tagged [interplanetary]

Questions regarding spacecraft designed to travel between planets.

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46 votes
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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 ...
jw01's user avatar
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46 votes
4 answers
10k views

Why was Venus rather than Mars targeted for the first interplanetary landings?

This is a question about early planetary missions. It looks like there was only one early (unsuccessful) landing mission to Mars and that subsequently Venus became the target for interplanetary ...
user2705196's user avatar
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40 votes
4 answers
7k views

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 ...
Philipp's user avatar
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31 votes
5 answers
11k views

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 ...
Martin Asenov's user avatar
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 ...
Rosie's user avatar
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25 votes
4 answers
14k views

Is Nibiru real or totally science fiction?

I have seen lots of YouTube videos taking 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 ...
Ubi.B's user avatar
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25 votes
3 answers
2k views

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 ...
gerrit's user avatar
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24 votes
9 answers
13k views

Assuming a spacecraft is traveling in a constant rate and our Astronaut will exit it to a space walk, will she 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 ...
riorio's user avatar
  • 515
23 votes
2 answers
5k views

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 ...
FontFamily's user avatar
22 votes
4 answers
3k views

Do you need to burn fuel between gravity assists?

If you are planning a mission to an outer planet with multiple gravity assists included, do you need to do some burns for corrections, between the slingshots, or the ideal trajectory is already ...
Teo Stanciu's user avatar
20 votes
6 answers
8k views

What is the rarest launch window?

What situation would make a launch window rare? What is the rarest known launch window?
Muze's user avatar
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20 votes
3 answers
4k views

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 ...
John's user avatar
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20 votes
2 answers
2k views

After the loss of Challenger, why weren’t Galileo and Ulysses launched by Centaurs on expendable boosters?

The Centaur upper stage, the first hydrolox rocket stage ever flown and (in its highly-evolved forms) still one of the most-used, as well as one of the highest-performance (if not the highest-...
Vikki's user avatar
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19 votes
3 answers
27k views

How to calculate delta-v required for a planet-to-planet Hohmann transfer?

How do you calculate the delta-v required to do a Hohmann transfer from a circular orbit around one body to a circular orbit around another? I'm assuming you'd need to know the masses of the two ...
Joe's user avatar
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18 votes
5 answers
5k views

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 ...
Abdullah is not an Amalekite's user avatar
18 votes
2 answers
2k views

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 ...
Muze's user avatar
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18 votes
2 answers
6k views

What bitrates are currently achievable for communication with interplanetary space probes?

In communication with interplanetary space probes, it is clear that one has to take the delay caused by speed of light into account. Besides that, what are current limits for the data upload and ...
Irigi's user avatar
  • 675
17 votes
2 answers
2k views

How do we make a round-trip journey to Mars?

I've been to Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where I saw the huge Saturn V rocket... This was used to get to people to the moon. It had a Lunar Module to propel itself on and off the moon's surface ...
shortstheory's user avatar
16 votes
2 answers
4k views

Space travel using constant acceleration drive: Earth to Europa

Long story short: I'm writing sci-fi and taking my protagonist to Europa. He's got 2 weeks to one month to get there from Earth, give or take a few days. That sounds, of course, preposterous in this ...
adamholtwrites's user avatar
16 votes
2 answers
2k views

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'. ...
kim holder's user avatar
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16 votes
1 answer
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Does a mission to Venus orbit require less propellant than a similar mission to Mars?

Gravitational attraction is determined using G (m1m2)/r^2 Which indicates the force is inversely proportional to the square of separation of the bodies Of the terrestrial planets Mercury, Venus, ...
Everyone's user avatar
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15 votes
2 answers
769 views

Is NASA launching fewer interplanetary missions?

We were discussing this in the chat room yesterday, and I thought it might make an interesting question. While missions are lasting longer today than they perhaps ever have, it seems like there are ...
PearsonArtPhoto's user avatar
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15 votes
2 answers
538 views

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 ...
LocalFluff's user avatar
14 votes
4 answers
4k views

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 ...
Greenhorn's user avatar
  • 274
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-...
Woody's user avatar
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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 ...
BigNutz's user avatar
  • 565
14 votes
4 answers
3k views

Has an interplanetary date/time system been established yet?

Obviously, with no humans living permanently off-planet yet, Earth-style dates and times are the most common system is use, and reasonably so. And it helps that Mars's day is almost the same length ...
Nerrolken's user avatar
  • 467
13 votes
2 answers
2k views

What significance did Pioneer 10 & 11 have?

The images taken by Pioneer 10 and 11 were of much lower quality than those of later planetary probes. I wonder if this is representative also for their other instruments. For example, they don't seem ...
LocalFluff's user avatar
13 votes
3 answers
2k views

Viability of orbital refueling

One of more successful tactics in Kerbal Space Program in order to get big missions with a lot of delta-V going is to launch the big interplanetary craft (with landers, rovers, service modules and ...
SF.'s user avatar
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13 votes
2 answers
2k views

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), ...
g_don's user avatar
  • 433
13 votes
3 answers
659 views

Can orbital debris be assembled into a module for space exploration?

Wikipedia writes to say Currently, about 19,000 pieces of debris larger than 5 cm (2.0 in) are tracked, with another 300,000 pieces smaller than 1 cm below 2000 km altitude. For comparison, the ...
Everyone's user avatar
  • 13.6k
13 votes
1 answer
1k views

Are there any proposals for a permanent orbital interplanetary ferry?

I believe I read in a book once a description of a kind of interplanetary ferry that would orbit the sun and regularly pass different planets like Mars and Earth. The idea of the ferry is to have a ...
Fedor Alexander Steeman's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
402 views

How are space agencies coordinating their science missions internationally?

Is there any coordination between governmental space agencies in order to achieve complementary science goals with interplanetary and other space missions? If so, is this done somewhat informally ...
LocalFluff's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
338 views

How do long-flight space probe teams preserve the interest and the know-how?

Our knowledge of ballistics improves all the time: Multiple Earth-Venus gravity assists have become quite standard. We keep on planning and sending spacecraft to Lagrange points, and increasingly ...
Deer Hunter's user avatar
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12 votes
4 answers
4k views

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?
Starship - On Strike's user avatar
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 ...
Super-intelligent Shade's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
29k views

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?
Ted Lawson's user avatar
12 votes
1 answer
2k views

Mars Orbit Upon Intercept

I'm running a numerical simulation that calculates an interplanetary trajectory from Earth to Mars, and I'm trying to get a spacecraft into an orbit about Mars upon intercept, but am having a little ...
InquisitiveInquirer's user avatar
11 votes
4 answers
15k views

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 ...
Fluttershy on what's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
2k views

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 ...
WOW 6EQUJ5's user avatar
  • 2,223
11 votes
2 answers
956 views

Benefit of sling shot effect with a space elevator

The upper end of a space elevator is moving considerably faster than orbital speed at that distance from Earth. As a result anything released from the top of elevator would get thrown away from the ...
Dan Is Fiddling By Firelight's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
745 views

Ephemeris data usage in interplanetary trajectory application

I'm trying to write a Mathematica application that allows users to choose their date of departure and time-of-flight for an interplanetary transfer mission (currently only working for Earth-Mars ...
InquisitiveInquirer's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
332 views

Tracking Arc and Time for Precise Orbit Determination

It is said that for Precise Orbit Determination (POD) of interplanetary spacecrafts, generally, during the cruise phase for aiding accurate TCM (Trajectory Correction Maneuvers) planning, long arc of ...
Kuldeep Barad's user avatar
10 votes
5 answers
5k views

Why haven't telescopes been sent to other planets?

Why haven't we sent telescopes to other planets? Wouldn't we be able to see further? Aren't we interested in seeing further without having to send a probe that will take years to get to where it's ...
Alex's user avatar
  • 109
10 votes
1 answer
563 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, ...
Russell Borogove's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
588 views

Does NASA use Newtonian model of gravity for plotting the course of Juno or general relativity?

With the huge mass of Jupiter and its fast, approximately 10 hours daily rotation, there may be substantial twisting of space-time around it. A distortion of such magnitude that may call for ...
kamran's user avatar
  • 265
10 votes
1 answer
666 views

3-Body Simulation and Accuracy of Lambert Interplanetary Solver

I've found that using a Lambert solver together with the equations of the patched conic approximation for an interplanetary flight from Earth to Mars is quite inaccurate, when taking Earth's ...
InquisitiveInquirer's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
1k views

Finding accurate periapse rendezvous radius using interplanetary Lambert solver

I have a numerical interplanetary trajectory model and am trying to find a way to accurately insert a spacecraft into a rendezvous orbit with its target planet having a particular periapse radius (for ...
indigoblue's user avatar
10 votes
1 answer
735 views

Will the Mars Transit Vehicle need to include a water recycling system?

An NIH abstract writes to say A daily water intake of 3.7 L for adult men and 2.7 L for adult women meets the needs of the vast majority of persons. Mars One touts a crew-size of four with a ...
Everyone's user avatar
  • 13.6k
9 votes
4 answers
4k views

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 ...
LoveForChrist's user avatar

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