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Volume & Issue no: Volume 7, Issue 8, August 2018


Optimal Gravity Assisted Orbit Insertion for Europa Orbiter Mission
Author Name:
Deepak Gaur, M. S. Prasad
ABSTRACT The Europa Orbiter Mission is designed to search for subsurface liquid oceans on the third largest moon of Jupiter, Europa. The primary objective of this research is to analyze the optimal orbit insertion maneuver that will put the spacecraft into orbit around Jupiter. It was found that an impulsive velocity change of -1.33 km/s was required to put the spacecraft into an initial orbit. Using the gravity of Jupiter’s largest moon, Ganymede, to slow the spacecraft upon arrival to Jupiter, reduced the change in velocity by approximately 30%. The initial orbits around Jupiter for the two cases were nearly identical. This suggests that this type of gravitational assists could be used to decrease the mass of fuel needed on board on the spacecraft. Possible problems with the assisted trajectory lie in the timing and relative phase angle of Jupiter’s moon. If the spacecraft were to deviate from the optimal arrival by as little as 25 seconds, it could potentially collide with the moon. The position of the other moon of Jupiter must also be considered as they could affect the spacecraft’s trajectory, or worst collide with the spacecraft. Keywords: Europa, Ganymede, Spacecraft Trajectory, Hohmann Transfer.
Cite this article:
Deepak Gaur, M. S. Prasad , " Optimal Gravity Assisted Orbit Insertion for Europa Orbiter Mission" , International Journal of Application or Innovation in Engineering & Management (IJAIEM) , Volume 7, Issue 8, August 2018 , pp. 055-062 , ISSN 2319 - 4847.
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