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Control Of Deep Space Exploration Vehicles

1582 words - 7 pages

The discovery comes from man’s curiosity nature. The aspiration to travel in space, and this desire for exploration combined to create deep space exploration vehicles. These vehicles have been built by scientists in the last few decades. The most distant manmade objects from Earth are deep space exploration vehicles which are built in order to study other planetary systems, and the outer solar system. In the late 1960s, aerospace engineer Gary Flandro conceived of a mission, The Planetary Grand Tour, which was an ambitious plan to send space vehicles to the outer planets (Flandro, 1966, p.329). This plan was used in the late 1970s with the launch of the two Voyager probes. Scientist have benefited from these deep space vehicles in order to study other planets and interstellar space and have been able to identify the parameters necessary for future vehicles. The success of a deep space exploration vehicle depends on its propulsion, power and computer systems.
Propulsion capability sets the limits on volume, configuration, and mass. Humanity's reach in exploring interplanetary space is limited by the energy requirements. Deep space vehicles also need orbit adjustments or midcourse maneuvers. For planets travel a deep space vehicle must use its engines to leave Earth orbit or be carried to its way until it leaves Earth orbit by another rocket vehicle, and make its way to its destination. There are some methods for carrying spacecraft to outer of the Earth, but generally rocket engines used for deep space vehicles. Generally rocket engines are internal combustion heat engines which produce a high temperature gas by combusting a solid, liquid or gaseous fuel with an oxidizer. The hot gas in then allowed to escape through a high expansion ratio nozzle. The function of the nozzle is converting most of the thermal energy into kinetic energy and to accelerate the mass. Also rocket engines provide highest specific powers and thrusts for spacecraft propulsion. For example solid rocket boosters generate 2,361,000 lbs of thrust using powered aluminium and ammonium perchlorate (Lethbridge, 2012, para. 3-6). In today's technology the most fuel economic way to travel outer planet is moving from one circular orbit to another orbit of planets that is on deep space vehicle's way. The vehicle begins with in circular orbit around planet. A short period of thrust in the direction of motion accelerates the vehicle into a elliptical orbit which is tangential to its previous orbit, and to the orbit of the vehicle's destination. The vehicle moves freely along this elliptical orbit until it reaches its destination. without utilizing energy derived from the gravitational field of planets in Voyager 1, Earth-Pluto direct minimum flight duration would be 45.7 years (Flandro, 1966, p.330). However, from the launch year 1977 of the Voyager 1, the distance travelled by vehicle is larger than Earth-Pluto distance. Finally spacecraft for interstellar travel has not been built yet...

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