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A comparison of aerobraking and aerocapture vehicles for interplanetary missionsSeveral design features for employing aerobraking and aerocapture techniques on interplanetary spacecraft are described. Recent studies have identified silica fabrics mounted on carbon composite ribs as suitable aerobraking spacecraft shield materials. Aerocapture is best achieved with a biconic aeroshell design, with the aeroshell supported by Al honeycomb panels and allowing primitive aerodynamic maneuverability. The aeroshell would be covered with thermal protection materials capable of elevated temperatures of magnitudes that are a function of the expected atmospheric density, the surface area, the entry speed, spacecraft mass and maneuverability. Both technologies are concluded ready for implementation and development costs are estimated for various missions, showing that aerocapture will provide for greater payload masses, except for a Jupiter mission.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Hoffman, S.
(Science Applications International Corp. Schaumburg, IL, United States)
Date Acquired
August 12, 2013
Publication Date
August 1, 1984
Subject Category
Spacecraft Design, Testing And Performance
Report/Patent Number
AIAA PAPER 84-2057
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
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