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Topic: Aerobraking

In the News (Thu 18 Apr 19)

  The Tricky Science of Aerobraking
In space engineering, aerobraking is the term applied to the practice of using a planetary atmosphere to change the orbit of a spacecraft.
Hence, for a planetary mission, the deeper a spacecraft dips into the atmosphere during its orbit, the larger the velocity change that is imparted and the higher the heating on the spacecraft.
During the aerobraking phase, repeated passes by the spacecraft through the upper regions of the Martian atmosphere were supposed to reduce its orbital period and result in the tight observational orbit required by the science payload.
www.space.com /businesstechnology/technology/aerobraking_lee_011003-1.html   (1010 words)

  Aerobraking - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-08)
Aerobraking is a technique used by spacecraft in which it uses drag within a planetary atmosphere to reduce its velocity relative to the planet.
Aerobraking has been used extensively over the decades by spacecraft orbiting Earth as a means to remove their orbital velocity and return to the surface.
Aerobraking can also be used in a less extreme manner, to adjust the velocity of a spacecraft without permanently reentering the atmosphere.
www.encyclopedia-online.info /Aerobraking   (247 words)

 Mars Global Surveyor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This suspension of aerobraking was performed because air pressure from the atmosphere caused one of Surveyor's two solar panels to bend backward by a slight amount.
Aerobraking was resumed on November 7 after flight team members concluded that aerobraking was safe, provided that it occurs at a more gentle pace than proposed by the original mission plan.
From May to November 1998, aerobraking was temporarily suspended to allow the orbit to drift into the proper position with respect to the Sun.
en.wikipedia.org /wiki/Mars_Global_Surveyor   (1099 words)

 How Aerobraking Works And Saves Money
Instead of using onboard jets and propellant to adjust a spacecraft's orbit, aerobraking uses the atmosphere as both a brake and a steering wheel.
Aerobraking is extremely challenging but worth it, say mission engineers, because it eliminates the need for the heavy load of extra propellant that would otherwise be needed to place the spacecraft in its desired orbit.
Aerocapture, a close cousin of aerobraking, is an as-yet-untested technique that would use the friction of a planetary atmosphere to actually capture a spacecraft into orbit.
www.spacedaily.com /news/aerobraking-01a.html   (1091 words)

 MGS Aerobraking   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-08)
Aerobraking is a technique used by NASA to reduce the amount of fuel required to slow down the Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft as it approached Mars.
Aerobraking was to take 6 months and several orbits around Mars to reduce the apoapsis (highest point in orbit) and align the MGS spacecraft in the proper polar orbit.
Aerobraking was done off and on during 17 months to allow a decreased amount of drag to do the job over a longer period of time.
mgs-mager.gsfc.nasa.gov /overview/aerobraking.html   (385 words)

 Benefits of Aerobraking
In order for the aerobraking process to begin, the spacecraft is commanded to lower its altitude at periapsis to a point where the orbit encounters the upper fringes of the planet’s atmosphere.
The length of this aerobraking phase is dependent upon the amount of drag the spacecraft encounters in the planet’s atmosphere.
Eventually the aerobraking process for the MGS mission was successful as well as the fulfillment of all of the science requirements for the mission.
ccar.colorado.edu /asen5050/projects/projects_2002/bryant   (2493 words)

 Data Captured During Aerobraking Hiatus   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-08)
The original plan was to use this "aerobraking" scheme to lower the high point of the orbit from 56,026 km down to 450 km by repeatedly flying through the atmosphere for four months.
Flight team members concluded that aerobraking is safe, provided that it occurs at a more gentle pace than proposed by the original mission plan.
Under the new mission plan, aerobraking will occur with the low point of the orbit at an average altitude of 120 km, as opposed to the original altitude of 110 km.
mars.sgi.com /mgs/status/upcoming/newplan_press.html   (497 words)

 Mars Global Surveyor Aerobraking at Mars
Aerobraking is accomplished by lowering the periapsis altitude of the orbit into the upper reaches of the Martian atmosphere and allowing drag forces to reduce the orbital energy.
As the new aerobraking configuration was being developed, its was thought that the "atmospheric density margin" constraint discussed previously may have to be applied against the mechanical holding torque limitations of the solar array gimbal.
Aerobraking must be terminated prior to solar conjunction because of the communications degradation and the actual loss of communications that occurs with the spacecraft during this time period.
www.ksc.nasa.gov /mirrors/jpl/pathfinder/mgs/sci/aerobrake/SFMech.html   (5412 words)

 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter: The Mission
Since the orbiter is flying through this varying atmosphere during aerobraking, operations of the orbiter are risky for the orbiter and difficult and intense for the operators.
This phase is used as a calibration period to understand atmospheric densities and the way in which the orbiter behaves in and out of aerobraking.
When aerobraking is complete, the orbiter will perform 3 small orbit trim maneuvers (OTMs) to place itself in the primary science orbit.
marsprogram.jpl.nasa.gov /mro/mission/tl_aerobraking.html   (447 words)

 Untitled Document
Second, to be successful, not only must the aerobraking procedure result in a circularization of the orbit at the proper altitude, but it must be accomplished such that at its conclusion the local time at the sunward equator crossing is within a few minutes of 2:00 PM with respect to the mean sun.
Since the aerobraking altitude selection is based on the anticipated atmospheric density, the occurrence of a global dust storm necessitates moving periapsis to higher altitude as the storm builds but does not necessarily interrupt aerobraking.
When aerobraking picks up again in the fall about 700 more aerobraking orbits will be required to reduce the orbit period to the desired 118 minute period and the spacecraft is expected to be ready for mapping in March of 1999 one year later than planned when aerobraking began.
mars.sgi.com /mgs/confrm/aerobexp.html   (4298 words)

 Aerobraking   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-08)
Aerobraking has been used extensively over the by spacecraft orbiting Earth as a means to remove their velocity and return to the surface.
Aerobraking can also be used in a extreme manner to adjust the velocity of spacecraft without permanently reentering the atmosphere.
A further alternative approach to aerobraking and is discussed in the reentry article.
www.freeglossary.com /Aerobraking   (315 words)

 SPACE.com -- The Tricky Task of Aerobraking at Mars
The controlled use of atmospheric friction is a process called “aerobraking”, a technique that changes the initial, very elongated orbit of the orbiter into a rounder shape optimal for science operations at Mars.
Aerobraking is "science friction"--that is, using the friction of the thin martian atmosphere to slow the orbiter.
Thanks to aerobraking, the spacecraft's 35-hour orbit period has been shaved down to a 20-hour orbit, but hundreds of drag passes are ahead.
www.space.com /scienceastronomy/060530_science_tuesday.html   (1160 words)

 Mars Climate Orbiter - Aerobraking
In aerobraking, a spacecraft is slowed down by frictional drag as it flies through the upper part of a planet's atmosphere.
The first thruster firing to adjust the orbit for aerobraking may be performed as early as the first time the spacecraft swings away from the planet after entering orbit.
The most challenging part of aerobraking will occur during what the flight team calls the "end game": the last few days of aerobraking, when the period of the spacecraft's orbit is shortest.
marsweb.jpl.nasa.gov /msp98/orbiter/aerobrake.html   (630 words)

 MarsNews.com :: Aerobraking Mars Orbiter Surprised Scientists
Aerobraking is a technique that was first used by the Magellan mission to Venus in 1993, and also used on two other Mars missions, the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) in 1997 and Mars Odyssey (2001).
Aerobraking uses repeated dips into the atmosphere to gradually slow the spacecraft and reduce the size of the orbit.
To aid in the aerobraking process, the navigation team employs an atmospheric model called the Mars-GRAM (Global Reference Atmospheric Model), a computer database of information from what previous missions have encountered, combined with a mathematical model that attempts to simulate Marsatmospheric dynamics.
www.marsnews.com /archives/2006/09/24/aerobraking_mars_orbiter_surprised_scientists.html   (212 words)

 Detailed Product page
The Mars Odyssey Spacecraft made use of aerobraking to gradually reduce its orbit period from a highly elliptical insertion orbit to its final science orbit.
Aerobraking introduces its own unique challenges, in particular, predicting the thermal response of the spacecraft and its components during each aerobraking drag pass.
To accurately model the complex behavior during aerobraking, the thermal analysis must be tightly coupled to the spatially varying, time dependent aerodynamic heating analysis.
www.ntis.gov /search/product.asp?ABBR=N20030065626   (256 words)

Aerobraking as a method for orbit energy reduction is presented in addition to further analysis to optimize the technique for certain parameters.
Aerobraking is a means of energy reduction, used generally to circularize a highly elliptical orbit by taking advantage of atmospheric drag to reduce the orbital energy, thus saving expensive fuel otherwise needed for the task (Fig.
Aerobraking at Mars on MGS was successful despite a mechanical failure of one of the solar array hinges.
ccar.colorado.edu /asen5050/projects/projects_2000/mottinger   (2710 words)

 Aerobraking - FreeEncyclopedia   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-08)
Aerobraking is a technique used by spacecraft in which it uses friction with a planetary atmosphere to reduce its velocity relative to the planet.
Such aerobraking removes a large amount of kinetic energy over a short period of time, most of which is converted into heat; spacecraft require a sturdy heat shield to survive the maneuver, as well as an aerodynamic shape and good resistance to acceleration.
A related concept sometimes used in a humorous context is "lithobraking," the use of friction with a planetary crust to slow a spacecraft.
openproxy.ath.cx /ae/Aerobraking.html   (267 words)

 MarsNews.com :: Mars Global Surveyor
Aerobraking had been successfully demonstrated in the final days of the 1988 Magellan mission to Venus.
Mission operatiors had to design an aerobraking procedure that was less stressful on the cracked solar panel.
Because of the longer aerobraking phase, the mission was able to return some science results and images of Mars during a few brief hiatuses from aerobraking.
www.marsnews.com /missions/mgs   (409 words)

 Untitled Document
The majority of the difference in launch mass between MGS and Mars Observer spacecraft is in the fuel and oxidizer required by Mars Observer for circularization of the orbit.
This is of importance for MGS as the periapsis latitude is in the northern hemisphere at the beginning of aerobraking and remains in that hemisphere for a major portion of the aerobraking time period.
One of the unanticipated results from aerobraking in the Northern hemisphere of Mars is the discovery that there is a longitude dependence to the density variations which is related to surface topography.
mpfwww.jpl.nasa.gov /mgs/confrm/aerobexp.html   (4298 words)

 Aerobraking   (Site not responding. Last check: 2007-10-08)
They call this new idea "aerobraking." Essentially, the solution works in the same way that children slow down and lower how high they swing on a playground swingset by dragging their feet through the sand as they swing pass the bottom.
In order to begin the aerobraking process, the flight team will command the spacecraft to lower the low point of its orbit into the upper fringes of the Martian atmosphere.During every subsequent pass through the orbit's low point, Surveyor will encounter air resistance and will slow slightly.
The main problem is that scientists only have a limited amount of knowledge regarding the thickness of the air in the upper Martian atmosphere.
marsweb.jpl.nasa.gov /mgs/overvu/mplan/ab/ab.html   (475 words)

 Mars Global Surveyor to continue aerobraking phase
The decision to resume aerobraking came after intensive engineering analysis, computer simulations and tests with representative hardware to characterize the current condition of one of the spacecraft's two solar panels, which began to flex more than expected during the spacecraft's lowest dip into the Martian atmosphere on Oct. 6.
Aerobraking, a technique first demonstrated in the summer of 1993 during the final months of the Magellan mission to Venus, allows a spacecraft to lower its orbit without relying on propellant, by using the drag produced by a planet's atmosphere.
The analysis further suggests that the fractured surface, with increased pressure on the panel during aerobraking, began to pull away from the aluminum honeycomb beneath it.
www.jpl.nasa.gov /releases/97/mgsplan.html   (1005 words)

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