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Exploring the Solar System: all about spacecraft/spaceflight. How can we explore the Solar System? - types of space missions. How do we get there? - launch & orbits - gravity assist - fuel/propulsion. III. Onboard Systems - everything but the kitchen sink…. 1. Flyby Missions

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slide1

Exploring the Solar System:

all about spacecraft/spaceflight

  • How can we explore the Solar System?
    • - types of space missions
  • How do we get there?
    • - launch & orbits
    • - gravity assist
    • - fuel/propulsion
  • III. Onboard Systems
    • - everything but the kitchen sink…

Solar System - Dr. C.C. Lang

slide2

1. Flyby Missions

  • usually the first phase of exploration
  • (remember Mars & Mariner 4?)
  • spacecraft following continuous orbit
  • - around the Sun
  • - escape trajectory
  • (heading off into deep space)

Solar System - Dr. C.C. Lang

slide3

Famous Example: VOYAGER 2

- launch 1977 with VOYAGER 1

- flew by Jupiter in 1979

- Saturn in 1980/1981

- Uranus (V2) in 1986

- Neptune in 1989

- will continue to interstellar space

- study of interplanetary space particles (Van Allen)

- data expected until 2020

Clouds on Neptune

Interplanetary Space & the Solar Wind

Solar System - Dr. C.C. Lang

slide4

Other Flyby examples:

Underway:Stardust Comet return mission

- launched in 1999

- interstellar dust collection

- asteroid Annefrank flyby

- Comet encounter (Jan 2004)

- Earth/sample return (Jan 2006)

Solar System - Dr. C.C. Lang

slide5

Future flyby: Pluto-Kuiper Belt Mission

- to be launched in January 2006

- swing by Jupiter (gravity assist*)

- fly by Pluto & moon Charon in 2015

- then head into Kuiper Belt region

(tons of solar system debris)

- to study objects that are like Pluto

Solar System - Dr. C.C. Lang

slide6

2. Orbiter Spacecraft

  • designed to travel to distant planet & enter into orbit around planet
  • must carry substantial propulsion (fuel) capacity has to withstand:
  • - staying in the ‘dark’ for periods of time
  • - extreme thermal variations
  • - staying out of touch with Earth for periods of time
  • usually the second phase of exploration

Solar System - Dr. C.C. Lang

slide7

Famous Example: Galileo

- why would a mission to Jupiter be called Galileo?

- launched in 1989 aboard Atlantis Space Shuttle

- entered into Jupiter’s orbit in 1995

- highly successful study of Jupiter & its moons

Burned up in Jupiter’s atmosphere last week!

Solar System - Dr. C.C. Lang

slide8

3. Atmospheric Spacecraft

- relatively short mission

- collect data about the atmosphere of a planet or planet’s moon

- usually piggy back on a bigger craft

- needs no propulsion of its own

- takes direct measurements of atmosphere

- usually is destroyed; rest of spacecraft continues its mission

Example:

Galileo’s atmospheric probe

Solar System - Dr. C.C. Lang

slide9

Example: Galileo’s atmospheric probe

- traveled with Galileo for nearly six years

- took five months from release to contact with atmosphere

- collected 1 hour’s data IN Jupiter’s atmosphere

Solar System - Dr. C.C. Lang

slide10

4. Lander Spacecraft

- designed to reach surface of a planet/body

- survive long enough to transmit data back to Earth

- small, chemical experiments possible

Mars Viking

Lander

Many Successful Examples:

- Mars Viking Landers

- Venus Lander

- Moon Landers

(with humans!)

Solar System - Dr. C.C. Lang

slide11

Example: NEAR Asteroid Rendevous Mission

fly to a nearby asteroid: Eros – 1-2 AU orbit around Sun

Near-Earth Asteroid Eros

~ twice size of NYC

Solar System - Dr. C.C. Lang

slide14

5. Penetrator Spacecraft

- designed to penetrate the surface of a planet/body

- must survive the impact of many times the gravity on Earth

- measure properties of impacted surface

No Currently Successful Examples:

- Deep Space 2 (lost with Mars Polar Lander)

But more to come in future:

- “Ice Pick” Mission to Jupiter’s Moon Europa

- “Deep Impact” Mission to a Comet

Solar System - Dr. C.C. Lang

slide16

6. Rover Spacecraft

- electrically powered, mobile rovers

- mainly designed for exploration of Mars’ surface

- purposes: taking/analyzing samples with possibility of return

- Pathfinder was test mission – now being heavily developed

Mars Pathfinder

Mars Exploration Rovers

Solar System - Dr. C.C. Lang

slide17

7. Observatory Spacecraft

  • - in Earth orbit (or at Lagrange points)
  • - NASA’s “Great Observatories”:
  • - Hubble (visible)
  • - Chandra (X-ray)
  • - SIRTF (infrared)
  • - Compton (gamma-rays)
  • Large, complex scientific instruments
  • - up to 10-20 instruments on board
  • - designed to last > 5-10 years

SOHO

SIRTF (near-IR)

Chandra (X-ray)

Solar System - Dr. C.C. Lang

slide18

using LEAST amount of

fuel – saves big $$$ to be light

How do we get there?

1. First must leave the Earth’s surface

- must ‘escape’ into orbit

- gets an initial boost via rocket

to go into Earth’s orbit – needs

an acceleration of 5 miles/sec

- during orbit, you sometimes

need to adjust height of orbit

by increasing/decreasing energy:

- practically: firing onboard rocket

thrusters

- a speed of 19,000 miles/hr

will keep craft in orbit around Earth

Solar System - Dr. C.C. Lang

slide19

using LEAST amount of

fuel – saves big $$$ to be light

How do we get there?

2. To get to an outer orbit: Mars

- spacecraft already in orbit (around Sun)

- need to adjust the orbit – boost via rocket –

so that the spacecraft gets transferred from

Earth’s orbit around Sun to Mars’ orbit around Sun

- but you want spacecraft to intercept Mars on

Mars’ orbit

- matter of timing: small window every 26 months

- to be captured by Mars – must decelerate

- to LAND on Mars – must decelerate further &

use braking mechanism

Solar System - Dr. C.C. Lang

slide20

using LEAST amount of

fuel – saves big $$$ to be light

How do we get there?

3. To get to an inner orbit: Venus

- spacecraft already in orbit (around Sun) on Earth

- need to adjust the orbit once off Earth to head

inwards to Venus

- instead of SLOWING down (you’d fall to Earth),

you use reverse motion in your solar orbit, effectively

slowing down to land on Venus’ orbit

- but you want spacecraft to intercept Venus on

Venus’ orbit

- matter of timing: small window every 19 months

Solar System - Dr. C.C. Lang

slide21

How do we get there?

using LEAST amount of

fuel – saves big $$$ to be light

4. Gravity Assist

  • - can use the law of gravity to help spacecraft
  • propel themselves further out in the SS
  • - Voyager: its trajectory was aimed at getting
  • to Jupiter’s orbit just after Jupiter
  • - Voyager was gravitationally attracted to
  • Jupiter, and fell in towards Jupiter
  • - Jupiter was “tugged on” by Voyager and its
  • orbital energy decreased slightly
  • then Voyager had more energy than was
  • needed to stay in orbit around Jupiter, and
  • was propelled outward!
  • - repeated at Saturn & Uranus

Solar System - Dr. C.C. Lang

slide22

At what speeds are these things traveling through space?

  • The currently fastest spacecraft speeds are
  • around 20 km per second (72,000 km per/hr)
  • For example, Voyager 1 is now moving
  • outwards from the solar system at a speed of
  • 16 km per second. At this rate, it would
  • take 85,000 years to reach the nearest star
  • 3,000 human generations!
  • Even assuming that we could reach a speed
  • of 1/10th of the velocity of light, it would
  • still take a minimum of 40 years or so to
  • reach our nearest star.

Solar System - Dr. C.C. Lang

slide23

using LEAST amount of

fuel – saves big $$$ to be light

How do we get there?

5. Concerns about energy sources

- traditional energy boost: chemical thrusters

- most of energy is provided on launch – very costly!

especially for large, heavy, complex instruments

- a few times per year spacecraft fires short

bursts from its thrusters to make adjustments

- mostly free falling in orbit, coasting to destination

Solar System - Dr. C.C. Lang

slide24

How do we get there?

using LEAST amount of

fuel – saves big $$$ to be light

5. The Future: Ion Propulsion

- Xenon atoms are made of protons (+) and electrons (-)

- bombard a gas with electrons (-) to change charge

- creates a build up of IONS (+)

- use magnetic field to direct charged particles

- the IONS are accelerated out the back of craft

- this pushes the craft in the opposite direction

Solar System - Dr. C.C. Lang

slide25
to operate the ion system, use SOLAR panels
  • sometimes called solar-electric propulsion
  • can push a spacecraft up to 10x that of chemical propulsion
  • very gentle – best for slow accelerations

Solar System - Dr. C.C. Lang

slide26

HISTORY of ION PROPULSION

  • first ion propulsion engine – built in 1960
  • over 50 years in design/development at NASA
  • very new technology
  • has been used successfully on test mission:
  • Deep Space 1

Solar System - Dr. C.C. Lang

slide27

Europe’s Lunar Explorer: Smart 1 Probe

- launched 27 September 2003 (Saturday)

- 2-2.5 year mission

- will study lunar geochemistry

- search for ice at south Lunar pole

- **testing/proving of ion propulsion drives!**

Solar System - Dr. C.C. Lang

slide28

Onboard Systems on Most Spacecraft: Galileo

1. data handling 2. flight control 3. telecommunications

4. electrical power 5. particle shields 6. temperature control

7. propulsion mechanism 8. mechanical devices (deployment)

Solar System - Dr. C.C. Lang

slide29

Time & Money Considerations

Planning for a new spacecraft

- plans start about ~10 years before projected launch date

- must make through numerous hurdles/reviews

- very competitive: 1/10-25 average acceptance rate

  • Costs! (circa 2000) – total NASA budget (2000) was $13 billion
  • Basic Assumptions for design/development of small craft:
  • Cost of spacecraft and design: $50M- Cost of launch: $50M + $10M per AU + $10M per instrument- Cost of mission operations: $10M / month- Initial speed: 3 months per AU of distanceFor every additional instrument, add $100M and increase travel time by 25%
  • (e.g., for four instruments, double the travel time)A probe, lander, or balloon counts as two additional instruments.If you are going to the outer Solar System (Jupiter or beyond),
  • you must add plutonium batteries, which count as one instrument.

Solar System - Dr. C.C. Lang

slide30

This powerpoint was kindly donated to www.worldofteaching.com

http://www.worldofteaching.com is home to over a thousand powerpoints submitted by teachers. This is a completely free site and requires no registration. Please visit and I hope it will help in your teaching.

Solar System - Dr. C.C. Lang