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Questions tagged [trajectory]

Questions regarding the path that a spacecraft will take due to forces acting on the spacecraft, such as gravitational or radiation from the sun.

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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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1answer
133 views

How can I calculate the orbital elements from two position vectors and a time difference?

I have two position vectors for my satellite, and I know that the satellite reaches these two positions 15 minutes apart. I know I can find the inclination using linear algebra and my position ...
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2answers
212 views

What are the advantages of separating a stage few seconds after its burn out?

Will separating a stage(first) immediately after its burnout cause damage to the upcoming stage (2nd stage).? Also,do the first stage separation and second stage ignition happen at the same instant ??...
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124 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, ...
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64 views

How much higher is the wave drag for a spaceplane compared to its induced drag

I'm working on the conceptual design of the path of a suborbital spaceplane and am trying to do basic calculations. I read that wave drag near the sonic barrier can be huge and can impede the flight. ...
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38 views

What is the importance of thrust control history in low-thrust optimization?

As I have mentioned before, I am trying to optimize an Earth - Mars low-thrust transfer using a particular method. It has been mentioned to me, and I have seen it in many papers, that thrust history ...
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35 views

What was Mariner 10's lowest perihelion radius?

I've been searching the web for documentation of Mariner 10's trajectory, notably the perihelion radii, but so far have turned up nothing quantitative, just some rough trajectory diagrams. I've looked ...
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0answers
27 views

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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1answer
48 views

The appropriate reference frame for the interplanetary missions

In the JPL Horizons there are Earth mean equator and ecliptic reference planes. The ecliptic is an apparent path of the Sun's ...
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50 views

variables affect the trajectory in a stochastic way

What are the different variables affecting the trajectory of a rocket in a stochastic way for getting potential three-sigma trajectory?
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87 views

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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2answers
318 views

Can someone give me a 'trajectory optimisation for dummies' answer?

So, I am currently doing a project on trajectory optimisation. I get the principle of it, minimise fuel cost for a journey, or try to maximise the spacecraft weight at target destination, and that ...
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29 views

Spacecraft Inertial Data

I am a developer of motion analytics algorithm. Having been using a 9 Dof IMU strap-down onto human and land vehicles for this algorithm. Would be interested to run my algorithm of a spacecraft IMU ...
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1answer
229 views

Mars transfer window frequency

According to this website I drew up a timeline of Mars transfer windows and the time you'd need to stay on Mars before the next return window: Blue to red arrows are Earth to mars transitions, red ...
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1answer
116 views

First interplanetary launch from California! How far from Earth will InSight be when it separates from the Centaur 2nd stage?

The Phys.org article Bound for Mars—countdown to first interplanetary launch from California says: In the early morning hours of May 5, millions of Californians will have an opportunity to witness ...
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9answers
16k views

Could an astronaut safely shoot the Sun with a gun?

I'm rather skeptical of this comic: I think a bullet's speed is insignificant to the orbital speed around the Sun, but is such possible without the astronaut falling into the Sun? Maybe with an ...
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2answers
150 views

Calculating spacecraft thrust manoeuvres with JPL data

I've recently programmed an animated simulation of the main elements (core planets and Sun) of our solar system: by using the initial coordinates from the JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory - NASA) ...
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1answer
176 views

How can I find sources for Launch Trajectories?

The trajectories of space launches and the deployment of their payload (both scientific and commercial) are certainly carefully monitored by the space agency or company providing the launch capability,...
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1answer
127 views

Earth polar orbit to Lunar polar orbit

Suppose you wanted to achieve a polar orbit around the Moon, starting from LEO. Would it be better to start from a polar orbit around the Earth? "Better" meaning using less fuel, having more frequent ...
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2answers
3k views

Can the Falcon Heavy handle deep space missions?

Can the Falcon Heavy rocket handle sending payloads past Jupiter like the Atlas V?
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1answer
414 views

Did SpaceX intend to overshoot Mars?

There seems to be a lot of buzz around the Internet that the now famous Roadster is going to overshoot mars. Was this intentional, just to show the kind of capacity it is capable of? Or was there some ...
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2answers
3k views

How long will it take for Starman to complete one orbit of the sun?

I have seen that the original estimate to pass by Mars was about 6 months, but the current trajectory overshot Mars by quite a bit. How long until Starman and the Roadster return to complete their ...
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1answer
28k 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?
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2answers
5k views

Starman trajectory in future

How will the Starman move in the future? So far I have seen it goes quite beyond Mars, but what happens after that, will it orbit sun in some peculiar orbit? Isn't it risk for future flights? I ...
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0answers
59 views

How do you minimise sum of atmosphere and gravity loss?

I am attempting to calculate the optimum trajectory of a space shuttle going into orbit, taking into account gravitational and atmospheric losses. How would it be possible to minimise the sum of these ...
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1answer
40 views

Asteroid belt to earth orbit [closed]

Given a constant 1g acceleration with a reaction-less drive how long would it take to achieve zero-zero in earth orbit from the asteroid belt?
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1answer
70 views

Can we get different images of the Milky Way? Or solar system?

The orbits of the planets are coplanar. We send probes out along this plane to explore planets. Why can't we send a probe perpendicular to this plane (say due north from the earths perspective) and ...
10
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1answer
297 views

Improvements to script for Finite Burn Trajectory Optimization with MATLAB

I've written a MATLAB script to use the bvp4c two point boundary equation solver to implement a Calculus of Variations trajectory optimization of the problem of a single finite burn with a free coast ...
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1answer
595 views

Falcon Heavy path and propulsion to Mars

Has SpaceX provided any details on their specific plans for the trajectory of the Falcon Heavy payload propulsion on its trip out as far as Mars orbit? I'm wondering if they have made public whether ...
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4answers
3k views

Can we set up an orbiting transporter between Earth and the Moon?

I will give an example with the moon. If some spacecraft is put either in orbit around both earth and moon or in highly eccentric orbit that intersects with the moon orbit, some other spacecraft can ...
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1answer
925 views

How far around the world does a rocket travel before it enters orbit?

If a rocket launches from Florida, how far around the world does it travel before it reaches orbit? Is it in space before it completes crossing the Atlantic? Does it vary for different powered ...
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63 views

Implementing control system to track position and velocity references simultaneously

I've been trying to implement a PI (proportional-integral) controller to allow a launch vehicle to track 2 reference states simultaneous, namely position and velocity, so that the launch vehicle will ...
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2answers
860 views

Range of BFR as single stage

The depictions of the BFR for earth to earth travel include the 1st stage booster. I would think if you are just going ballistic, the upper stage would have enough delta V to go it alone, for closer ...
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2answers
1k views

How to get true anomaly from time?

An exercise that was left unsolved from last year's class gives me this equation : $$ t-t_{p} = \sqrt{\frac{a^3}{\mu}}*(\arcsin(X) - e*X) $$ where : $$ X = \frac{\sqrt{1-e^2}*\sin(v)}{1+e*\cos(v)}. $$...
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1answer
40 views

Need help recreating Cassini trajectory description from SKYMAP trj file

In an application I have to analyse I found this trajectory description for the space probe cassini, unfortunately header and comments have been removed: 2004 6 01 00.0 16669287.46 -...
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2answers
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Would it be possible to go beyond Jupiter without making any slingshot?

It is said that we do not have such advanced technology in order to send a spacecraft out of the solar system. (Source: Everyone around) When a spacecraft is launched from Earth and aims to leave the ...
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1answer
295 views

What would the SpaceX's BFR flight trajectories look like?

SpaceX recently announced their plans for creating a 1-hour flight service using BFR rockets which would fly higher than commercial airliners but lower than ISS. It implies that within 1 hour it would ...
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1answer
105 views

From which direction should a spacecraft intercept a target planet's sphere of influence for an inner-to-outer planet trajectory?

Suppose a spacecraft is on an interplanetary Hohmann transfer trajectory from an inner planet to an outer planet. When the spacecraft finally enters the target planet's sphere of influence, which ...
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1answer
334 views

Time of flight between two anomalies in a known orbital trajectory

Suppose I know all of the orbital elements of a particular orbital trajectory (not necessarily an elliptical one). Suppose I know the position and true anomalies at two different points in this ...
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575 views

Differential Equations for Rocket Launch in Polar Coordinates

I'm trying to understand the equations of motion for a rocket launched from earth, through the atmosphere, and into LEO. I found a set of ordinary differential equations which describe the motion of ...
7
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1answer
189 views

How to optimize time of ignition for an on-orbit burn and/or coast phase on ascent?

I've been playing around linear tangent based guidance laws (specifically the old Atlas-Centaur Surveyor guidance, Apollo IGM and Space Shuttle PEG code) and while PEG has an option for a coast phase ...
3
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1answer
273 views

Could the Dragon 2 abort after trans-lunar injection?

Based on the data about the Dragon 2 that I can find, here are the relevant specs, from Wikipedia on Dragon 2 and on Draco engines, and their FAA filing for its pad abort test (page 8): Dry Mass: 6,...
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1answer
389 views

Multiple solutions to Lambert's problem

I'm solving the Lambert's problem, and already have written a program, which solves the BVP and computes the velocities required to transfer from one point to another in a given time. However, I ...
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2answers
5k views

Is 678 km the new altitude record for a rocket shot “straight up” (vertical launch)?

The Space Daily April 10th Rocket Science item Europe's largest sounding rocket launched from Esrange says: MAXUS 9, Europe's largest sounding rocket for experiments in microgravity, successfully ...
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1answer
481 views

Best practices for rocket ascent trajectory guidance

I thought I would ask what the most used methods in industry are, in order to guide a launch vehicle into a desired circular orbit at engine cutoff. It seems that the use of direction collocation ...
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1answer
192 views

Number of burns for optimal launch ascent

If we consider Mars, with its relatively low gravitational acceleration and low density atmosphere, I had always assumed that if we have a single-stage-to-orbit launch vehicle on the surface of Mars ...
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1answer
135 views

Why is one of the foci of the ellipse of the trajectory of a space rocket in the center of the sun?

According to a book I am currently reading, space rockets and ballistic rockets fly along an elliptic path. However they differ in where the focus of the ellips describing their path lays. For space ...
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190 views

Are ion thruster trajectories classified as brachistochrones?

Usually, when performing trajectory optimizations for chemical rockets, the limiting factor is the $\Delta v$ budget. That means velocity change is the optimization factor, with things like transfer ...
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1answer
679 views

How to determine $\Delta v$ loss due to gravitational pull from earth

How do I find the delta-v loss of a rocket while ascending to its apogee? Specification of Atlas V 541 rocket: Specification for Atlas V first stage: Dry Mass: 21054 kg Fuel and Oxidizer(RP1/LOX) ...
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1answer
2k views

In deep space missions, how much of the journey is pre-programmed and how much is “direct” control?

Regarding deep space missions, like the Rosetta mission, how much of the journey to the final destination is pre-programmed vs. recalculated on the fly? For the Rosetta example, was the whole sequence ...