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2

@JohnMcCarthy's answer describes the outline of the general approach well, and I will take that and run into some of the weedy details behind it. My answer describes a more hands-on, brute force method; however, this answer points to a more powerful tool, NASA's EMTG (I've no experience with it). In general, broad trajectory searches are done (solving ...


2

Essentially you do a search in the two dimensional space of launch dates and arrival dates. For each pair, you compute a trajectory and calculate the amount of launch energy you need. That parameter is called C3, and it has dimensions of velocity squared. You would need to do similar searches for each set of gravity assists you are considering. That is, one ...


5

Venus Express (VEX) used a highly elliptical, polar orbit. A peculiar feature of this orbit around Venus is that the pericentre altitude will drift due to third body perturbations from the Sun's gravity (according to this paper). According to this paper (and implied in this press release from ESA marking the end of mission for VEX), mission operators had to ...


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Yeah you could do that. It would take a fleet of autonomous nuclear thermal spaceplanes. Basically the spaceplanes dip into the atmosphere using externally heated turbines with ambient air as propellent while it sucks up and compresses ambient atmosphere. Use a portion of the atmosphere you just collected to leave the gravity well and trasport to a gigantic ...


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