Low-thrust aldrin cycler with reduced encounter velocities

K. Joseph Chen, Blake A. Rogers, Masataka Okutsu, Damon F. Landau, James M. Longuski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Aldrin cycler has been proposed as a transportation system for human missions between Earth and Mars. However, the hyperbolic excess velocity values at the planetary encounters for these orbits are infeasibly large, especially at Mars. In this new version of the Aldrin cycler, low thrust is used in the interplanetary trajectories to reduce the encounter velocities. Reducing the encounter velocities at both planets reduces the propellant needed by the taxis to perform hyperbolic rendezvous. While the propellant expenditure for the cycler vehicle increases, trade studies over seven synodic periods show that the low-thrust Aldrin cycler is effective in reducing the total (i.e., cycler plus taxi) initial mass in low-Earth orbit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)955-961
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Spacecraft and Rockets
Volume49
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science

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