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Feasibility study of a single, elliptical heliocentric Earth-Mars trajectoryThe initial intent of this design project was to evaluate the existence and feasibility of a single elliptical heliocentric Earth/Mars trajectory. This trajectory was constrained to encounter Mars twice in its orbit, within a time interval of 15 to 180 Earth days between encounters. The single ellipse restriction was soon found to be prohibitive for reasons shown later. Therefore, the approach taken in the design of the round-trip mission to Mars was to construct single-leg trajectories which connected two planets on two prescribed dates. Three methods of trajectory design were developed. Method 1 is an eclectic approach and employs Gaussian Orbit Determination (Method 1A) and Lambert-Euler Preliminary Orbit Determination (Method 1B) in conjunction with each other. Method 2 is an additional version of Lambert's Solution to orbit determination, and both a coplanar and a noncoplanar solution were developed within Method 2. In each of these methods, the fundamental variables are two position vectors and the time between the position vectors. In all methods, the motion was considered Keplerian motion and the reference frame origin was located at the sun. Perturbative effects were not considered in Method 1. The feasibility study of round-trip Earth/Mars trajectories maintains generality by considering only heliocentric trajectory parameters and planetary approach conditions. The coordinates and velocity components of the planets, for the standard epoch J2000, were computed from an approximate set of osculating elements by the procedure outlined in an ephemeris of coordinates.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Blake, M.
(Texas A&M Univ. College Station, TX, United States)
Fulgham, K.
(Texas A&M Univ. College Station, TX, United States)
Westrup, S.
(Texas A&M Univ. College Station, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 16, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1989
Publication Information
Publication: USRA, NASA(USRA University Advanced Design Program Fifth Annual Summer Conference
Subject Category
Space Communications, Spacecraft Communications, Command And Tracking
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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