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Questions tagged [mission-design]

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

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Optimal Propulsion Strategy for a Mars Mission

I am designing a mission to Mars for a class project aimed at studying Mars' space weather. The mission is constrained to use a single Vega-C launch. I need to determine whether using a propulsion ...
Mario Pastore's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
302 views

How exactly would nuclear thermal or nuclear electric propulsion enable short duration human missions to Mars?

Today (May 1, 2024) NASA Administrator Bill Nelson testified before the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee that nuclear thermal propulsion would enable us to go faster to Mars. He said: ...
phil1008's user avatar
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Can operators put their satellites to sleep temporarily?

I’ve read a bit about “safe mode” and “passivation”. While one seems to be triggered autonomously, the other is used to decommission the satellite. How does one put the mission in a temporary safe ...
AGS's user avatar
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Hawkeye 360 Triangular Formation Flying Design

I recently chanced upon the paper Making the Invisible Visible: Precision RF-Emitter Geolocation from Space by the HawkEye 360 Pathfinder Mission (32nd Annual AIAA/USU Conference on Small Satellites) ...
Shawn Lim's user avatar
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How is the trajectory of a gravitational assist flyby mission computed?

Based on much research after posing my previous question, as well as the discussions with the rest of the community, I now (think I have) a deeper understanding of how mission planning works. Based on ...
hi-bye125's user avatar
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1 answer
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Shuttle-era mission profile for a desperation moon mission

It is 1996. For reasons best left to Worldbuilding SE, it has become a matter of civilizational life and death to send humans to the moon and bring them back to earth as soon as possible. Everybody is ...
Mark Foskey's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
146 views

What are the major tradeoffs for a launch vehicle having either one 400 kN engine or eight 50 kN engines?

Given the problem of choosing to build and launch a small rocket to put a smallsat into orbit with either of these two configurations, what are the major tradeoffs between them? For specific issues ...
Muhammad Ahsan's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
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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 ...
TARS TARKAS's user avatar
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What resources are available to turn into storable hypergolic on the Jovian moons

I was thinking about whether a mission utilizing ISRU on a lander to refuel a transfer craft. However, I don't know how to figure out what materials are available in large quantity ON THE EQUATORIAL ...
AnarchoEngineer's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
94 views

Beginner to simulating communications systems of space missions. I have GMAT, MATLAB and NASA's SPICE library. Where would I start?

I recently managed to load SPICE kernels into GMAT to simulate the trajectories of real missions, and got its MATLAB interface working (still trying to understand how to use the two software together)....
Johan Sondberg's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
167 views

How to calculate physics of interplanetary transit?

Please note, I know nothing about space technology but am interested in how this works and possibly in writing a simulator for it, so a basic answer, with some links to further math is what I'm ...
TMOTTM's user avatar
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1 answer
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Sentinel-2C and frequency of acquisition

Sentinel-2C, the third Sentinel-2 satellite of the Copernicus program, is planned to be launched in 2024. Currently, the Copernicus SENTINEL-2 mission "comprises a constellation of two polar-...
AlixL's user avatar
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4 answers
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With increased space exploration missions, are we affecting earth's mass?

This questions may seem naive, but, worth pondering: As humans keep sending more and more missions to space (outside earth's system), the earth is being affected in the following ways: Earth is ...
anurag's user avatar
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2 votes
2 answers
233 views

Why does NASA underestimate their own missions? [duplicate]

This question may be a little vague, so I will explain what I mean by this. Most major NASA missions have had a "Mission Life Expectancy". But I've found 8 times out of 10, the spacecraft ...
Deko Revinio's user avatar
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Was DART meant to impact dead center?

According to eyes on the solar system, Dimorphos is tidally locked to Didymos. If DART impact direction is perfectly aligned with Dimorphos center of mass, all of the momentum transfers into orbital ...
user avatar
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1 answer
481 views

How to protect Mars/Moon mission crews against meteors?

Humans are expected to return to the Moon (see Artemis) and maybe go to Mars (see this and this) within a decade or two. Meteors frequently strike the surface of both the Moon and Mars (one can't ...
Stefan Lafon's user avatar
18 votes
7 answers
4k views

Is there something inherently more difficult about servicing satellites in the 2nd Sun-Earth Lagrangian point?

There are several questions already asked on here about the potential for servicing the James Webb Space Telescope. This question asks what happens if the JWST needs repair. Basically, there are no ...
Curious Layman's user avatar
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199 views

Installation procedure for NASA's Evolutionary Mission Trajectory Generator (EMTG)?

I am doing trajectory optimization, and want to use NASA's Evolutionary Mission Trajectory Generator (EMTG) software to investigate dates for various trajectories. However, this software does not come ...
kardalos's user avatar
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1 answer
244 views

Non-coplanar transfer in GMAT

I am trying to use GMAT to do a non-coplanar transfer between 2 circular orbits. In which the first orbit would have a 0º inclination, and the final orbit would have a 28º inclination. And the ...
razder997's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
120 views

GMAT: What causes the error "ArrayTemplate error : dimension error"?

I have made various scripts that work with GMAT, but once in a while I get an "ArrayTemplate error : dimension error" error. I do not know what causes it, as in this case my script appears ...
kardalos's user avatar
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NASA GMAT Hardware in the Loop testing

We are currently evaluating various Mission Analysis & Simulation tools, one of which is NASA's GMAT (2020). One of our requirements is for the tool to support HITL testing. However, i am unable ...
ITried's user avatar
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More advanced alternatives to Trajectory Optimization Tool?

I've been using Arrowstar's Trajectory Optimization Tool to plan interplanetary transfers, and it works well. The next thing I want to do is plan gravity assists from the Sun-Earth L2 Lagrange point ...
kardalos's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
114 views

Solar Sail mission

Sorry for my English. I'm not native speaker I would like your advice in solar sail mission simulation. The purpose is to compare results with results in Wolfram Mathematica. We have CubeSat with ...
Nikita's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
957 views

Can double deck spacecraft be designed and constructed for manned missions?

Double Deck Aeroplane Similar to double deck Aeroplane, can a double deck crewed mission spacecraft be designed and constructed? Benefits: More astronauts in the manned mission spacecraft viz Mars, ...
Prashant Akerkar's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
108 views

What is "trade space" in the context of libration orbit mission design? (used in trade analysis, launch window analysis and trade study)

The introduction to Launch Window Trade Analysis for the James Webb Space Telescope reads: The James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) is a large-scale space telescope mission designed to study fundamental ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
1 vote
0 answers
452 views

How do I construct halo orbits around the Sun-Earth L2 point in GMAT? What should the state vector of the spacecraft be?

I am new to trajectory design, and have been using GMAT to learn it since it's free, unlike STK. I have been trying to design a script that takes a spacecraft from Earth orbit to a halo orbit around ...
kardalos's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
189 views

Where is the Wind going? Where has it been? (Global Geospace Science spacecraft 1994-071A)

This excellent answer to Why put DSCOVR in a Lissajous orbit? Wouldn't a halo orbit completely avoid the Sun exclusion zone? explains that the Global Geospace Science or Wind spacecraft ...
uhoh'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
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1 answer
109 views

Why does Q-SAT look like a buckyball?

Tech.China.Com.cn's August 7, 2020 article Tsinghua University Successfully Launched Gravity and Atmospheric Science Satellite (Chinese, title translated to English) includes the image above of what I ...
uhoh's user avatar
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4 votes
1 answer
948 views

NASA GMAT: Any good tutorials or methods to learn how to use patch points and control points to come up with viable and optimal trajectories?

I'm a beginner to trajectory design, and have to use NASA's GMAT software. It's been a few weeks now, and I have done the first four tutorials and managed to create a (very unrealistic and sub-optimal)...
kardalos's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
61 views

How is the moon's orbital motion accounted for in determining the best observation platform/location for JWST at L2?

The moon's periodic motion would appear to impose a perturbation to the otherwise equilibrium state of the solar/earth L2 point.
JEH's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
123 views

For JWST's "29.5 days of terror" before orbital insertion, unfolding the sunshield is the scariest for me. When is this scheduled to happen?

At what date and time UTC is JWST's unfolding of its sunshield scheduled to begin? At what date and time UTC is confirmation of success expected if all goes smoothly?
uhoh's user avatar
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3 votes
0 answers
85 views

How the number of Sun sensors is chosen for a given spacecraft and mission?

I have to study an ADCS sensors suite and I am struggling to find a criteria to decide how many and in which directions the sun sensors shall be mounted, considering that they are coupled with star ...
Massimiliano's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
135 views

Closest approach between the JWST launch vehicle and Santa Claus's sleigh?

This ABC News video describes how for the 66th year in a row NORAD will be tracking Santa Claus's progress. This year they will have to contend with a potential conjunction between Santa's sleigh and ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
0 votes
3 answers
964 views

How would a repair of the JWST proceed if it were ordered regardless of the cost and technical hurdles, depending on when/how it fails? [closed]

I have heard people speaking about how, unlike Hubble, the James Webb Space Telescope is "one of a kind", "not designed to be repaired", "not serviceable", and the like, ...
Grant Hartlage's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
168 views

"Hohmann-Like" and Chemical / Electric Thrust Comparison

Part of the work I have to do for my degree is to perform a "Hohmann-like" transfer between Earth and Mercury, of which I believe I have accomplished. I have attempted numerous times to ...
Andrew Blair's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
333 views

Why does JWST need "a carefully designed series of oscillations" to avoid overheating during the 2nd stage burn? Why not rotate "rotisserie style"?

The Northrop Grumman video James Webb Space Telescope Launch and Deployment describes the trajectory from launch to orbital insertion and illustrates several key maneuvers and incremental steps in the ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
4 votes
1 answer
329 views

Why is 90 sols a standard mission duration for robotic spacecraft on the surface of Mars?

Several robotic Mars surface missions have a planned mission duration of 90 sols. I would like to understand why this specific mission lifetime is commonly used by mission planners. Below is a non-...
Armadillo's user avatar
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40 votes
2 answers
5k views

Why doesn't JWST use ion thrusters?

Since the L2 point is unstable, JWST needs engines to maintain its orbit. It uses mono-propellant engines which have given it a 5-year minimum lifespan. Why weren't ion engines used instead? Wouldn't ...
Oscar Smith's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
123 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 ...
Freddo411's user avatar
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3 votes
1 answer
132 views

Why did the last six TDRS satellites start at ~7° inclination on a downward trend that appears to be "repelled" by zero & bounce back w/o crossing?

The most recent six TDRS satellites (8 through 13) were inserted into moderate inclination orbits of roughly 7°, and in all cases their inclinations immediately decreased at rates of about +/-1 or +/-...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
7 votes
4 answers
2k views

Has ion propulsion ever been used in a deep space trajectory correction maneuver proper?

Answer(s) to What types of propulsion are used to adjust an orbit? lead me to wonder if electric propulsion has ever been used for a proper TCM or "trajectory correction maneuver" in deep ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
28 votes
3 answers
5k views

How will DART be able to hit a 170 meter rock dead-center at over 6000 m/s? What technologies will be use and how will they work together?

The DART spacecraft will ultimately be a kinetic energy impactor, using its 500 kg mass at a relative velocity of over 6000 m/s to slightly change its target 65803 Didymos's companion Dimorphos's ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
2 votes
1 answer
344 views

Deep space marksmanship; will DART's intercept and impact trajectory represent the best ever if successful? If so, by how much?

The DART spacecraft will ultimately be a kinetic energy impactor, using its 500 kg mass at a relative velocity of over 6000 m/s to slightly change its target 65803 Didymos's companion Dimorphos's ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
1 vote
1 answer
624 views

How does a 22 dBi X-band "patch" antenna get so much gain and how well behaved is its high-gain radiation pattern?

@NgPh's answer to How will the LICIACube cubesat transmit DART impact images back to Earth? What kind of antenna and radio will it use? quotes LICIACube on DART mission: an asteroid impact captured by ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
0 votes
1 answer
176 views

Are any space agencies working on an (essentially) 100% reliable sterilization technique for spacecraft bound for subsurface ocean worlds?

One answer to my previous question Is there any demonstrated or even proposed technology that can sterilize a spacecraft with 100% certainty and yet leave it electronically functional? asserts: ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
5 votes
0 answers
146 views

Could the International Space Station (ISS) be refurbished to save money?

I was reading an old article about deorbiting ISS (Death Star: The ISS Doesn’t Have a Way to Crash Safely) and wondering if we could refurbish ISS instead of deorbiting it? I thought deorbiting it ...
Rodo's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
64 views

How to use the Util and Base Code of the General Mission Analysis Tool

GMAT (General Mission Analysis Tool) provides detailed Util and Base Code, but I don't know how to use it, namely I still don't know how to access so many data of some missions. Can somebody provide ...
BigEast's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
173 views

How exactly did Cassini provide rock-solid attitude control to enable high resolution low light imaging? (1.2 arcsec/pixel for narrow angle camera)

The extremely cool NASA JPL video Triumph at Saturn (Part I) is really worth a watch and/or listen. At about 45:45 it discusses the period after SOI (Saturn Orbit ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
6 votes
2 answers
242 views

Which deep-space spacecraft flew closest by Earth during a gravitational assist?

The extremely cool NASA JPL video Triumph at Saturn (Part I) is really worth a watch and/or listen. (Don't forget Part II as well!) At about 26:30 it discusses ...
uhoh's user avatar
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