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Questions tagged [mission-design]

Mission design is the process of designing a spacecraft to fulfill a particular objective.

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Why is DSCOVR in a Lissajous orbit instead of a halo orbit (to stay out of Sun exclusion zone)?

Halo orbits are a sub-class of Lissajous orbits. See this answer for (much) more on that. DSCOVR's orbit will put it in it's Sun Exclusion Zone in about 2020 where the communications line of sight ...
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When an how will BepiColombo and MIO separate? (JAXA’s Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter)

edit: JAXA’s Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter (MMO) is now called MIO – Mercury Magnetospheric Orbiter’s New Name. With all the fanfare about BepiColombo (mine included) I didn't realize that there ...
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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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Have there been any spacecraft with internal SRM other than CONTOUR?

I read about the CONTOUR mission which used an internal solid rocket motor to change the trajectory. Have there been other spacecraft using a solid rocket motor which is not jettisoned after usage?
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Spacing for Martian Seismic Network

Assuming 4 stationary probes equipped with seismometers similar to InSight, how far apart should they be placed to optimize studying the deep interior of Mars? Is it necessary for them to be spaced ...
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How to specify constraints for launch windows

I'm trying to learn trajectory design and optimization, and I'm struggling to understand how one determines the launch window using trajectory design programs. I know that my satellite's initial ...
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Could the Lunar Lagrange Points work for space telescopes?

Every orbit in space has its pros and cons. Low Earth Orbit has accessibility but frequent eclipses whereas a Solar Lagrange Point is clear and stable but distant. In the case of the Lunar Lagrange ...
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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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How does the poliastro python package “Going to Mars with Python” example work? What's it really doing?

@astrojuanlu's answer mentions the existence of the Python package poliastro, and in the documentation there I found an example titled Going to Mars with Python using poliastro among others. Input ...
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How does a space probe differ from a satellite in terms of materials used and size?

Both of those space vehicles are meant to carry out different tasks. How are materials selected for both of them such that it benefits their task? And is size a debatable factor while building these ...
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How an americium-241 RTG would differ from one using plutonium-238?

@TomSpliker's great answer mentions that ESA might be looking at producing Radioisotope (powered) Thermoelectric Generators (RTGs) based on the radioisotope americium-241. 241Am is a "kinder and ...
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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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Why do space missions use a single vessel and not a convoy?

In designing space missions, probes that have traveled to the moon or other planets are typically a single unit. A lone probe travels a long distance and if/when it fails the mission is shut down. How ...
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Has budgetary support for Juno been extended, or is it running out?

The Yahoo news article NASA’s Juno snapped another photo of Jupiter that looks like a watercolor painting is a reminder that Juno is generating plenty of data and beautiful images. The Juno ...
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Has lithocapture ever been seriously considered as a method of entering orbit around a planet or moon that lacks any atmosphere?

What I mean by lithocapture is an orbital transfer maneuver used to reduce the velocity of a spacecraft from a hyperbolic trajectory to an elliptical orbit around the targeted celestial body where the ...
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Could a 21 meter space telescope detect the nearest exoplanets?

For reference, Hubble's mirror is 2.4 meters wide, the upcoming James Webb's 6.5 meters, and the proposed ATLAST 8 or 16 meters. Let's assume a mirror nearly ten times Hubble's size, 21 meters, is ...
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Earth gravity lens focus

Reading this question and then this report in a comment by @called2voyage At some point they talk about possibility to send (using antimatter as propellant) a space mission to solar gravity lens ...
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Would it have been any more difficult to build the space station without the space shuttle?

I know that the Space Shuttle delivered a lot of modules and supplies to the International Space Station, but I also know that other rockets were just as capable of performing the task at that time ...
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Can we use drones in planetary exploration?

Can we use drones for planetary exploration. Rovers have the inherent problem of getting stuck in terrain. and have limited range. why have space agencies not considered the use of drones for ...
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Could a probe fly through the Sun's transition zone between chromosphere and corona?

I wonder if a cryogenically cooled probe could fly very fast tangentially pass the Sun and through its transition zone where the temperature drops to below 6 000 K, from millions in the corona. What ...
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What's after the Kuiper Belt for New Horizons?

NASA has approved the New Horizons mission to 2014MU69 on 1 January 2019 that will require operations at least into 2021 to download the data. However, after that, things get a bit fuzzy - New ...
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Why isn't a centrifuge used for astronauts on the space station?

One thing I've always wondered is why don't astronauts sleep in a kind of rotating bed that spins creating force? This would allow them to sleep and would be able to simulate earths gravity. Why don't ...
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Orbit Design Process

Do orbit design/mission analysis have equivalent documentation to the Preliminary/Critical Design Reviews you would use in systems engineering?
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Has a spacecraft ever docked with the same space station twice in one mission?

Has a spacecraft ever docked with the same space station twice in one mission? This is the "corollary" to the question How many times has a spacecraft docked with two or more different space stations ...
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How many times has a spacecraft docked with two or more different space stations during a single mission?

According to this answer, Columbia is the only Space Shuttle not to have docked with more than one space station. For the other shuttles, I think at least most of the time they only docked with one ...
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How deep a crater could an impactor spacecraft cause on Mars?

What would the best way be to crash an impactor into Mars with greatest topological effect? And how deep a crater could it excavate? Mars missions to date have been designed to approach the planet at ...
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Why were three engines used for the F9 1st stage landing burn (BulgariaSat-1)?

As pointed out in the question What is the “emergency crush core”?, an Elon Musk tweet about the Falcon 9 1st stage landing following the BulgariaSat-1 launch says: Rocket is extra toasty and hit ...
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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 ...
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How to best patch my conics?

I thought I'd try to use patched conics to see what it's like. I'll go from LEO to LXO (low Planet-X orbit), co-planar all the way. If I understand correctly, I'll have (at least) five conics. The ...
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Doctor and EVA specialist — good idea? [closed]

The book "The Martian" describes a six-people manned mission to Mars. One of the astronauts is both the ship's primary medical doctor/surgeon and primary extravehicular activity specialist. Is such a ...
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1answer
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Is there a significant difference between launching a polar orbit mission south from New Zealand versus launching it north?

The Channel News Asia article New Zealand launches into space race with 3D-printed rocket says: Ships and planes need re-routing every time a rocket is launched, which limits opportunities in ...
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What are relevant missions for CubeSats? [closed]

My high school is planning to launch a CubeSat to the ISS, but we need a mission. A majority of students involved are interested in the engineering aspect of constructing it, and we don't know what it ...
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Is it profitable to save fuel for the Oberth effect during a Jupiter gravity assist?

Probes to the outer Solar system use a Jupiter flyby for gravity assist, all six such missions thus far have. While flying near a gravity well one can enjoy the Oberth effect which multiplies the ...
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Pork chop plot generator and Lambert solver test cases

I am looking for a free tool which can generates pork chop plots. I'm doing this to compare the output of my tool with one of a third party. Additionally, if anyone has specific test cases on solving ...
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How will the SpaceX ITS return from Mars?

SpaceX's Interplanetary Transport System has a well-defined plan for getting to Mars: Launch the ITS spaceship into LEO Launch five ITS tankers to fill the spaceship's tanks. Launch the spaceship on ...
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If Juno's long orbit means a lower rate of radiation damage, why the planned short orbit?

The Juno Spacecraft (also Wikipedia, launch 05-Aug-2011, Jupiter orbit insertion 05-Jul-2016) was scheduled for a burn to reduce it's period from about 54 days to 14 days, while maintaining a ...
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How will the Lucy spacecraft move from Jupiter's L4 to its L5 Trojan asteroids?

After having visited the L4 leading Trojans ("Greeks") of Jupiter, almost a decade after launch Lucy will spend almost 4½ years moving on to the trailing L5 Trojans, 5 AU away. Is there a special ...
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How can I refine an orbital plan to get from one planet to another? [duplicate]

Suppose I have an idea for a better way to go from planet A to planet B. What do I need to do to determine the delta-V required and efficiency in terms of reducing necessary shielding mass on the ...
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Why weren't Saturn V and the Soviet N-1 Moon rockets made larger in order to simplify Lunar missions?

During the Apollo missions the Lunar lander was separated, turned around and docked during flight. And the command module was left in Lunar orbit during the surface mission. The Soviets planned to ...
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Can planet Earthtoo put a Tooian in orbit too?

Planet Earthtoo saw that Earth could put a person in orbit, so they wanted to go to space too. The planet Earthtoo is twice the diameter of Earth, with the same internal structure - the average ...
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Summary of events and issues leading to the loss of Hitomi?

Hitomi was an Astrophysics science satellite in LEO with four X-ray telescopes, for imaging and spectroscopy of soft and hard X-rays. A paper based on some of the data collected during it's short ...
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Is GMAT still available? Where? How? (NASA's General Mission Analysis Tool)

In this comment below the question Visualization of non-Keplerian orbits for solar sails, NASA's open source General Mission Analysis Tool is suggested. Sounds great! My google search found this blog ...
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What is the distance of the Sun-Jupiter L4 and L5 points relative to Jupiter?

What is the distance between Jupiter and the L4 and L5 points of the Sun-Jupiter system? I need it to attempt to calculate the $\Delta v$ needed to reach Jupiter from there.
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How could the laser from Earth to a spacecraft be used other than to propel its light sail?

The Starshot Breakthrough Initiative, sponsored by Yuri Milner, now finances the attempt to use a huge laser on Earth to propell a tiny spacecraft to huge velocity. Not having to carry the energy for ...
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How will Yuri Milner and Stephen Hawking's nanobots decelerate and transmit data upon arrival at Alpha Centauri?

Does anyone know what exactly is their plan, once they get there? How is that nano-thing going to slow down / take images / send data back to us? I couldn't find any information on this.
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Space probe design based on intended exploration trajectory? [closed]

Through this link : here, it is possible to get an idea of regions where space probes have been sent since the beginning of space exploration. But my question is, what are the bare bones essential ...
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What was the Apollo service module propellant used for on the LEO missions?

The Apollo service module carried a lot of propellant for performing the following tasks on a Moon mission: Mid-course correction manoeuvres to and from the Moon. Braking the entire CSM/LM stack into ...
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How will Philae's power failure affect Rosetta's mission?

With Philae dead on the comet, how will Rosetta's mission change? Obviously there isn't anything more that the lander can do, so Rosetta doesn't have to use its time and resources trying to wake it up....
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How is ISS commander chosen?

I've been looking at the ISS's List of International Space Station expeditions, and I'm curious about how the commanders are chosen. I can't really find anything that stands out. Sometimes the ...
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How can one spacecraft (MANTIS) fly by multiple (7) asteroids?

MANTIS was in 2015 a proposed Discovery class mission which were to fly by seven different asteroids including at least one NEA. I think the spacecraft which holds the record in number of flyby's is ...