Questions tagged [interplanetary]

Questions regarding spacecraft designed to travel between planets.

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39
votes
3answers
9k 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 ...
30
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3answers
4k 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 ...
26
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4answers
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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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9answers
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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 ...
20
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3answers
7k 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 ...
20
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2answers
1k 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 ...
19
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7answers
8k views

What is the rarest launch window?

What situation would make a launch window rare? What is the rarest known launch window?
17
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2answers
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 ...
16
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2answers
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 ...
16
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2answers
3k 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 ...
15
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3answers
20k 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 ...
15
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2answers
732 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 ...
15
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1answer
3k views

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, ...
14
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2answers
3k 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 ...
14
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1answer
1k 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-...
14
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2answers
430 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 ...
13
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3answers
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 ...
13
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1answer
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 ...
12
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4answers
11k 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 ...
12
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1answer
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?
12
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1answer
277 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 ...
11
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2answers
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 ...
11
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4answers
4k 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 ...
11
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3answers
495 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 ...
11
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4answers
2k 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 ...
11
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2answers
786 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 ...
11
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2answers
1k 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'. ...
11
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1answer
332 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 ...
11
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1answer
256 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 ...
10
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1answer
641 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 ...
10
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1answer
300 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 ...
10
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1answer
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 ...
10
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1answer
626 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 ...
10
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1answer
1k 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 ...
9
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5answers
4k 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 ...
9
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2answers
3k views

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?
9
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2answers
6k views

Is the Orion Crew Module large enough for long duration flight?

If Orion is being designed for interplanetary space travel, where will the crew live for the long duration? The Orion Crew Module is not much bigger than Apollo and I would not think a crew of 4-6 ...
9
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1answer
478 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 ...
9
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1answer
468 views

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, ...
8
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2answers
2k views

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 ...
8
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1answer
429 views

Orbital station for Mars missions

While reading through the comments on a question on the difficulty of a manned mission to Mars, people brought up the issue that sending supplies in advance would lock in the landing site. It seems to ...
8
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3answers
8k views

Could India Send a Lander to Mars?

India has recently sent a small spacecraft to Mars, as a technology demonstration mission. It has also subsequently successfully demonstrated its much-delayed cryogenic upper stage engine with the ...
8
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1answer
587 views

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 ...
8
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1answer
208 views

How would one come up with an optimal team-size for a manned interplanetary mission?

How big would a manned ascent stage for Mars need to be? assumes 3 astronauts. That question appears to draw inspiration from the Apollo programme, and the Soyuz evolution. Part of the rationale ...
7
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3answers
1k views

How useful is the Interplanetary Transport Network?

Wikipedia summarizes the Interplanetary Transport Network/Interplanetary Superhighway fairly succinctly, although it's pretty vague to someone who doesn't know what's going on: The Interplanetary ...
7
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2answers
612 views

How much time is needed for interplanetary trajectory design?

How long (weeks, month, years) does it normally take engineers to find good interplanetary trajectories, such as Cassini, Messenger or BepiColombo? I would be particularly interested in the time ...
7
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2answers
346 views

Can spacecraft rendezvous in orbit on planetary missions

Since we have yet to lose personnel onboard the ISS due to starvation, I assume that space agencies have got a good handle on the mechanics for a rendezvous in low earth orbit. What would be the (...
7
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1answer
458 views

What plans does AEB (the Brazilian Space Agency) have for missions beyond GEO?

Besides the US, we focus a lot on Russia and China's space programs. India also gets a little attention. Brazil, Russia, India, and China form the BRIC group which is widely presumed to surpass G7 ...
7
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1answer
445 views

Ariane 5 performance data for escape missions

I would like to know the performance for escape mission of the Ariane 5 launcher. More precisely, I would like "LV Performance vs. C 3" curve. My problem is, I can find this info for a lot of ...
7
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1answer
741 views

Can I use Tsiolkovsky's rocket equation in combination with this equation for a Hohmann transfer to find what mass of propellant is needed?

I'm wondering if it's appropriate to use the two equations in order to solve for m0/m1 to find the mass of propellant needed to perform a hohmann transfer. If it isn't, can someone suggest an ...