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Aerocapture Systems Analysis for a Neptune MissionA Systems Analysis was completed to determine the feasibility, benefit and risk of an aeroshell aerocapture system for Neptune and to identify technology gaps and technology performance goals. The systems analysis includes the following disciplines: science; mission design; aeroshell configuration; interplanetary navigation analyses; atmosphere modeling; computational fluid dynamics for aerodynamic performance and aeroheating environment; stability analyses; guidance development; atmospheric flight simulation; thermal protection system design; mass properties; structures; spacecraft design and packaging; and mass sensitivities. Results show that aerocapture is feasible and performance is adequate for the Neptune mission. Aerocapture can deliver 1.4 times more mass to Neptune orbit than an all-propulsive system for the same launch vehicle and results in a 3-4 year reduction in trip time compared to all-propulsive systems. Enabling technologies for this mission include TPS manufacturing; and aerothermodynamic methods for determining coupled 3-D convection, radiation and ablation aeroheating rates and loads.
Document ID
20060012088
Document Type
Other - Collected Works
Authors
Lockwood, Mary Kae (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Edquist, Karl T. (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Starr, Brett R. (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Hollis, Brian R. (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Hrinda, Glenn A. (NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Bailey, Robert W. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Hall, Jeffery L. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Spilker, Thomas R. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Noca, Muriel A. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
O'Kongo, N. (Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 2006
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing and Performance
Report/Patent Number
NASA/TM-2006-214300
L-19236
Funding Number(s)
WBS: WBS 620.02.01.01.07.02
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Public Use Permitted.

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