Evaluation of the Delta-V Budget for a Mission of Europa Exploration

Authors: Sukhova S.V. Published: 15.09.2014
Published in issue: #4(97)/2014  

DOI: 10.18698/0236-3941-2014-4-

Category: Simulation of Processes  
Keywords: patched-conic approximation, trajectory computation, gravity assist maneuver, Galilean moons, impulsive thrust, interplanetary flight, Europa’s satellite

The delta-V budget of Europa (Jupiter’s moon) exploration using a space probe, equipped with a liquid-propellant rocket engine is analyzed, and power needs of the space probe for the Earth-to-Jupiter transfer and probe’s capture into a circular polar orbit of Europa’s satellite are evaluated. The approximate calculation of interplanetary trajectory is performed using the patched-conic method (method of spheres of influence). A series of Ganymede-flybys is suggested for reducing the delta-V budget (Ganymede is the Jupiter ’s largest moon). As a result of evaluation, the delta-V budget comparison is presented for two trajectories: (1) probe ’s capture into Europa’s orbit right after its arrival at Jupiter; (2) probe ’s capture into orbit after reducing its hyperbolic velocity excess using the required number of gravity assist maneuvers in Ganymede ’s sphere of influence.


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