Using lunar swingbys and libration-point orbits to extend human exploration to interplanetary destinations

David W. Dunham, Robert W. Farquhar, Natan Eismont, Eugene Chumachenko, Sergey Aksenov, Anthony Genova, Jerry Horsewood, Roberto Furfaro, John Kidd

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

For a viable program of exploration beyond the Moon, we believe that international collaboration, like for the ISS, and reusable spacecraft will be needed. We use high-energy Earth orbits that can be drastically modified with lunar swingbys and small propulsive maneuvers, especially near the collinear Sun-Earth and Earth-Moon libration points. The work builds on ideas developed by the International Academy of Astronautics' exploration study group presented at the 2008 International Astronautical Congress in Glasgow. The first human missions beyond low-Earth orbit will probably go to the vicinity of the translunar Earth-Moon libration point; these are discussed in separate papers. This paper will concentrate on the next possible step, which might be for servicing large space telescopes in Sun-Earth libration-point orbits. Next, flyby and rendezvous missions to Near-Earth Objects (NEO's) will be presented, with some emphasis on options for defense against potentially hazardous objects. Finally, trajectories to reach Mars, first to Phobos and/or Deimos, will be outlined. The study will use highly-elliptical Earth orbits (HEOs) whose line of apsides can be rotated using lunar swingbys. The HEO also provides a convenient and relatively fast location for rendezvous with crew, or to add propulsion or cargo modules, a technique that we call "Phasing Orbit Rendezvous". From a HEO, a propulsive maneuver, considerably smaller than that needed from a circular low-Earth orbit, can be applied at the right perigee to send the spacecraft on the right departure asymptote to a desired destination. A propulsive maneuver at perigee can be used to re-capture the spacecraft into a loosely-bound orbit at the return, perhaps helped with a lunar swingby. But the astronauts onboard could separate in an Apollo-style capsule for a direct Earth return. Earth-Moon (and possibly Sun-Earth) libration point orbits and double-lunar swingby orbits, like those flown first by the third International Sun-Earth Explorer, will be used, along with time to change the orbital orientation between missions. There might be waits of several months between missions, when the interplanetary spacecraft could be "parked" in a small-amplitude Lissajous orbit about a libration point, similar to that flown by the WMAP mission. During that time, if there wasn't an L2 space telescope needing servicing, the spacecraft could be unmanned and controlled remotely from the Earth. Sequential missions to fly by and then rendezvous with NEO's will be described, followed by a mission to the Martian moons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC
PublisherInternational Astronautical Federation, IAF
Pages1932-1941
Number of pages10
Volume3
ISBN (Print)9781629939094
StatePublished - 2013
Event64th International Astronautical Congress 2013, IAC 2013 - Beijing, China
Duration: Sep 23 2013Sep 27 2013

Other

Other64th International Astronautical Congress 2013, IAC 2013
CountryChina
CityBeijing
Period9/23/139/27/13

Fingerprint

libration
Orbits
Earth (planet)
orbits
rendezvous
Earth orbits
moon
elliptical orbits
maneuvers
near Earth objects
Moon
spacecraft
sun
low Earth orbits
reusable spacecraft
Sun
apsides
flyby missions
Spacecraft
interplanetary spacecraft

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

Cite this

Dunham, D. W., Farquhar, R. W., Eismont, N., Chumachenko, E., Aksenov, S., Genova, A., ... Kidd, J. (2013). Using lunar swingbys and libration-point orbits to extend human exploration to interplanetary destinations. In Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC (Vol. 3, pp. 1932-1941). International Astronautical Federation, IAF.

Using lunar swingbys and libration-point orbits to extend human exploration to interplanetary destinations. / Dunham, David W.; Farquhar, Robert W.; Eismont, Natan; Chumachenko, Eugene; Aksenov, Sergey; Genova, Anthony; Horsewood, Jerry; Furfaro, Roberto; Kidd, John.

Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC. Vol. 3 International Astronautical Federation, IAF, 2013. p. 1932-1941.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Dunham, DW, Farquhar, RW, Eismont, N, Chumachenko, E, Aksenov, S, Genova, A, Horsewood, J, Furfaro, R & Kidd, J 2013, Using lunar swingbys and libration-point orbits to extend human exploration to interplanetary destinations. in Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC. vol. 3, International Astronautical Federation, IAF, pp. 1932-1941, 64th International Astronautical Congress 2013, IAC 2013, Beijing, China, 9/23/13.
Dunham DW, Farquhar RW, Eismont N, Chumachenko E, Aksenov S, Genova A et al. Using lunar swingbys and libration-point orbits to extend human exploration to interplanetary destinations. In Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC. Vol. 3. International Astronautical Federation, IAF. 2013. p. 1932-1941
Dunham, David W. ; Farquhar, Robert W. ; Eismont, Natan ; Chumachenko, Eugene ; Aksenov, Sergey ; Genova, Anthony ; Horsewood, Jerry ; Furfaro, Roberto ; Kidd, John. / Using lunar swingbys and libration-point orbits to extend human exploration to interplanetary destinations. Proceedings of the International Astronautical Congress, IAC. Vol. 3 International Astronautical Federation, IAF, 2013. pp. 1932-1941
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