Optimization of low fuel and time-critical interplanetary transfers using space elevator apex anchor release: Mars, Jupiter and Saturn

James Torla, Matthew Peet

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examine the potential impact of a Space Elevator Apex Anchor for permanent human habitation of Mars and the Moons of Jupiter and Saturn. Apex anchor release trajectories refer to the low-cost interplanetary insertions corresponding to the initial velocity vector achieved at the apex of any higher-than-geosynch space elevator. The velocities of these apex anchors in most cases are beyond earth escape velocities and under certain conditions can yield interplanetary transfers with minimal Delta-v requirements. In this work, we have used iterative methods based on a variation of Lambert's Problem to determine the minimal Delta-v direct transfer from an Apex anchor to Mars under a variety of initial conditions and time-of-flight constraints. Permanent human habitation of distant planets requires both cost-effective methods of transportation of a massive amount of materiel and the ability to reduce the time-of-flight for human passengers and safety-critical supplies. Our results demonstrate that the use of an Apex anchor release can address both needs by dramatically reducing the time-of-flight for a fixed Delta-v budget, or, conversely, dramatically reducing the Delta-v budget (and hence costs) when time-of-flight constraints are relaxed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberIAC-19_D4_3_4_x51420
JournalProceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC
Volume2019-October
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Event70th International Astronautical Congress, IAC 2019 - Washington, United States
Duration: Oct 21 2019Oct 25 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Optimization of low fuel and time-critical interplanetary transfers using space elevator apex anchor release: Mars, Jupiter and Saturn'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this