High-Energy, Low-Thrust Jupiter Missions

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Previous studies have been made of the relationship among acceleration, specific power, payload fraction, and travel time for many interplanetary missions. These utilized tangential thrust and correspond to the high thrust Hohmann transfer orbits. In addition, a complete optimization of the one way Mars mission has been accomplished. Since the minimum Jupiter round trip time was six and a half years for tangential thrust, calculations were carried out using higher energy transfer orbits. It is shown that the orbit-matching problem cannot be solved with tangential thrust programming in this case. The initial period of acceleration away from the earth's orbit … continued below

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11 pages

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Fox, Robert H. October 31, 1960.

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Previous studies have been made of the relationship among acceleration, specific power, payload fraction, and travel time for many interplanetary missions. These utilized tangential thrust and correspond to the high thrust Hohmann transfer orbits. In addition, a complete optimization of the one way Mars mission has been accomplished. Since the minimum Jupiter round trip time was six and a half years for tangential thrust, calculations were carried out using higher energy transfer orbits. It is shown that the orbit-matching problem cannot be solved with tangential thrust programming in this case. The initial period of acceleration away from the earth's orbit was accomplished using tangential thrust in order to minimize energy expenditure. This was followed by a period of coasting until the proper moment arrived for commencing the orbit-matching maneuver. This terminates when the velocity and spatial coordinates of Jupiter's orbit are matched. The technique used for accomplishing these various orbit matching conditions without iteration are described. Best results for the final maneuver were obtained with the thrust vector approximately normal to the velocity vector. By this technique it is shown that the round-trip Jupiter mission may be carried out in four and an half years with 16% payload and 0.10 kw/kg specific power. The acceleration is about 0.12 cm/se,. Increasing he specific power by a factor of two does not materially affect the time. Although the specific power requirement is about the same as for the Mars or Venus trips, the mission is in fact much more difficult since the required power-on-time of the power plant is increased by a factor of three. Typical values are one and half to two years.

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11 pages

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Digitized from microopaque cards (1).

Includes bibliographical references (page 11).

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  • OCLC: 935932386
  • SuDoc Number: Y 3.AT 7:22/UCRL-6202-T
  • Report No.: UCRL-6202-T
  • Accession or Local Control No: metadc784127
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc784127

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  • October 31, 1960

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • March 24, 2021, 8:17 a.m.

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  • Jan. 5, 2023, 1:36 p.m.

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Fox, Robert H. High-Energy, Low-Thrust Jupiter Missions, report, October 31, 1960; Livermore, California. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc784127/: accessed March 30, 2023), University of North Texas Libraries, UNT Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.

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