. 24/7 Space News .
Getting around the Solar System
by Staff Writers for Launchspace
Bethesda MD (SPX) Feb 04, 2020


There is currently a great interest in going someplace in the Solar System. NASA wants to go to the Moon. Elon Musk wants to go to Mars. Still others just want to go to an asteroid. All of these destinations require extremely complex systems and mission scenarios.

In order to get to any of these places, the easiest way is to first get into Earth orbit.

This first step requires leaving the terrestrial surface on a launch vehicle which is a complex machine that is designed to take payloads from a stationary point at sea level and add enough energy to achieve an altitude of a few hundred kilometers and a velocity in excess of 7 km/sec. The amount of energy expended is huge. In fact, the energy needed to achieve low Earth orbit is roughly half of the total energy to reach anywhere in the Solar System.

In the past, a single launch vehicle was able to send three astronauts to the Moon. As it turns out this is a very inefficient way to travel beyond low orbit, especially if you are going farther than the Moon. It is much may efficient to transfer from the launch vehicle to another transporter in low orbit before leaving the vicinity of Earth. Thus, it is best to do your extraterrestrial travel in stages.

First you go from the Earth's surface to an orbiting waystation. Then you transfer to an interplanetary transporter. This vehicle takes you from low-Earth orbit on a trans-lunar or heliocentric trajectory, depending on your destination, to an orbit about the desired celestial body.

You would then transfer again to a local reusable launch/reentry vehicle that can take you to the surface of the Moon or a planet. If you are going to an asteroid, you do not need a third step, because the gravity fields around such bodies are so weak you can land directly on the surface.

When your vacation or work is completed, you can reverse the steps on your return trip to Earth. Upon arriving at the Earth-orbiting waystation, a shuttle will be waiting to take you back to a spaceport on the terrestrial surface. From there, home is a simple ride in an airplane. It is all that simple.

So, why do you need a waystation? Your reusable launch vehicle to orbit is not a good interplanetary transporter, because you would have to carry all that extra weight made up of heavy structures, large rocket engines and massive reentry shielding. It would be a big mistake to deal with all of that weight on your transit through the Solar System. Instead, it makes all kinds of sense to use a planetary transfer vehicle that needs no reentry shielding nor large rockets. Of course, there are variations on the plan depending on where you want to go.

Related Links
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News

Thanks for being there;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5+ Billed Monthly

paypal only
SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once

credit card or paypal

China's satellite tests pulsar navigation for future deep space exploration
Beijing (XNA) Aug 23, 2019
Chinese scientists have conducted experiments on pulsar navigation with an X-ray space telescope, and the technology could be used in future deep space exploration and interplanetary or interstellar travel. The experiments were conducted on the Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope (HXMT), dubbed Insight, which was sent into space on June 15, 2017, to observe black holes, pulsars and gamma-ray bursts, by scientists from the Institute of High Energy Physics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. The p ... read more

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Getting around the Solar System

DLR 2020 - research for climate, mobility and the energy transition

New research launching to station aboard Northrop Grumman's 13th Resupply Mission

Voyager 2 engineers working to restore normal operations

Rocket Lab successfully launches U.S. spy satellite

India plans to send 50 satellite launch vehicles into orbit within next 5 years

Elon Musk drops surprise techno track

SpaceX Falcon 9 launches fourth batch of 60 Starlink satellites

Mars' water was mineral-rich and salty

Russian scientists propose manned Base on Martian Moon to control robots remotely on red planet

To infinity and beyond: interstellar lab unveils space-inspired village for future Mars settlement

Nine finalists chosen in Mars 2020 rover naming contest

China to launch more space science satellites

China's space station core module, manned spacecraft arrive at launch site

China to launch Mars probe in July

China's space-tracking vessels back from missions

Space science investment generates income and creates jobs

Northrop Grumman breaks ground for expanded satellite manufacturing facilities in Gilbert, Arizona

US sees record year for private space sector in 2020

Xplore and Nanoracks partner to commercialize deep space

Can wood construction transform cities from carbon source to carbon vault

Sustainable 3D-printed super magnets

"Breakthrough" 3D-printed rocket engine tests completed in Fife, Scotland

Two satellites just avoided a head-on smash. How close did they come to disaster?

To make amino acids, just add electricity

AI could deceive us as much as the human eye does in the search for extraterrestrials

NESSI comes to life at Palomar Observatory

For hottest planet, a major meltdown, study shows

Seeing stars in 3D: The New Horizons Parallax Program

Looking back at a New Horizons New Year's to remember

NASA's Juno navigators enable Jupiter cyclone discovery

The PI's Perspective: What a Year, What a Decade!

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.