7 views

Uploaded by sian017

This document is about travelling to Mars.

- 04_Testbank
- Introduction to Orbital Mechanics_gatech
- Aqa 2455 w Trb u04asqspa
- HSC Physics Space Workbook
- Solid Works Training Material
- Solutions ENG
- Satellite Aptitude A
- 3bodyProblem-2
- OPTIMIZATION of Ring Burden
- Gravitation
- 3bodyProblem-2
- Mechanics - Chap. 2 Problems)
- 2012 Junior Paper.pdf
- 19930015529
- Kepler’s Differential Equations
- Isaac Newton
- Anal Geom
- planet research project and powerpoint
- Sample
- 9783319499765-c1

You are on page 1of 2

scheduled to leave Earth and arrive on Mars

just in time for the semi-annual Robert A.

Heinlein Podkayne Of Mars Festival.

Unfortunately, it is not so far in the future

that the spaceship can be taken to Mars

using thruster power, as though traveling

to another planet is no different than driving

down to the 7-11 for a Slurpee.

We must follow Sir Isaacs Laws, which are

appallingly restrictive when it comes to

vacationing on Mars. First one must leave

planet Earth. This requires that you blast off

with a minimum speed (escape velocity) of

v2 = 2GME /rE, where:

G = 6.674 x 1011 N m2/kg2

ME = Earths mass = 5.974 x 1024 kg

rE = Earths radius = 6.371 x 106 m

which gives us v = 1.119 x 104 m/s, or 25,026 miles per hour. This is about ten times the speed of a high-velocity

military rifle bullet, so you need about 100 times as much kinetic energy per kilogram to lift off the Earth than you

do to place an armor-piercing round through a half-inch of steel at a distance of two miles. And then once you do

reach high Earth orbit, your velocity relative to the Earth is almost nothing because most of the lift-off kinetic

energy is converted into gravitational energy.

Meanwhile, the Earth is orbiting the Sun at a speed of 29.78 km/s, or 66,600 miles per hour, which is 2.66 times

your escape velocity, which you no longer have. This means that for all practical purposes, after your spaceship

reaches space (as beautifully drawn beside the tiny Earth in the figure), you will be moving at 66,660 mph tangent

to the Earths orbit, and at a completely insignificant smidgen of mph radially. [Now you know why NASA always

sends their spacecraft on looping, spiral paths to other planets. The energy it would take to kill the momentum

imparted by Earths velocity and cut straight across the solar system is something like 266 times as much per

kilogram as that in a (laughably so-called) high velocity Army bullet.]

We have no choice but to let our spaceship spend almost all of its time coasting from Earth to Mars. Here is the

idea: we will place it into an elliptical orbit around the Sun such that its closest approach (to the Sun) coincides

with the distance of Earths orbit, but its farthest point (from the Sun) coincides with the distance of Mars orbit.

This is illustrated in the figure. These requirements place very rigid limits on our orbital parameters. If the ellipse

is to reach from Earth orbit on the one side (Earth-Sun distance = RE) to Mars orbit on the other side (Mars-Sun

distance = RM), then we must have 2a = RE + RM, where a is the semi-major axis of the ellipse. End of story. That

must be our semi-major axis.

Browsing through the Orbital Stuff handout (conveniently available on the class website), we find the useful little

formula v2 = GMS (2/r 1 /a), which gives the velocity at any radius r for an object in an elliptical orbit. In this

case, since Earth must be at Point A in the illustration of an ellipse in the Orbital Stuff handout, we know that our

spacecraft will begin its journey with r = RE. Substituting for r and a gives: v2 = GMS[(2/RE 2 /(RE + RM)], and

a bit of algebra yields v2 = (GMS/RE)[2/(1 + )], where = RM/RE = 1.5237 = the ratio of the orbital axes for Mars

and Earth. This is the speed the spacecraft must have (at Point A on the ellipse) if it is to enter a Mars-Earth

elliptical orbit. Using MS = mass of Sun = 1.9891 x 1030 kg, and RE = radius of Earths orbit = 1.496 x 1011 m, we

calculate v = 32.72 km/s, or 73,185 mph.

On the one hand, yikes. That is a lot of velocity. On the other hand, fortunately, the spacecraft is already moving

at 66,600 mph as it sits in high Earth orbit, so we only need to add 73,185 mph 66,600 mph = 6,585 mph to its

speed. That isnt so bad, only about 26% of the speed needed to escape from Earths surface in the first place.

So, we boost our spacecraft (on a line tangent to the Earths orbit) to a velocity of 73,185 mph (relative to the Sun),

and away we go. Now, how long do we have to wait? Well, Keplers 3rd Law says P2 = (42/GMS) r3 for circular

orbits around the Sun. If one does a very general analysis that takes into account all the ways that a particle can

move in a 1/r2 force field, then you find that, for an ellipse, P2 = (42/GMS) a3.

Yep. Thats right. Just exchange r for a and then you have Keplers 3rd Law for an ellipse. Better yet, if you

divide Keplers 3rd by itself except using the appropriate numbers for Earths orbit, you have P2 = a3, where P is in

years instead of seconds, and a is in units of AU rather than in meters. (AU, for those who may be astrophysically

challenged, is the abbreviation for Astronomical Unit. One AU = the radius of Earths orbit.) Since for our ellipse

we have 2a = RE + RM = 1 + 1.5237 (in AU units), a = 1.26185 and P = (1.26185)3/2 = 1.417 year. This is the orbit's

period, but we only need half a period to get to Mars, so the travel time is 1.417 / 2 = 0.709 yrs = 8 months.

And that, I am afraid, is that. Sir Isaac says it will take you 8 months to get to Mars if you use this method, and

he tends to be remarkably inflexible about these things. This kind of transfer orbit, in which the ellipse just touches

the inner and outer circular orbits you are moving between, is known as a Hohmann transfer orbit. The just

touching part means we have used an ellipse with the minimum possible semi-major axis a but minimum

possible axis also means minimum possible (most negative) mechanical energy. Therefore this orbit is more energy

efficient than any other orbit, unless you know a way to abolish the Suns gravitational potential. Want to reach

Mars in less than 8 months? It will cost you plenty in additional energy, I guarantee.

How fast will we be moving, when we reach Mars? One could re-calculate the velocity using the formulas on the

previous page, but as a shortcut, lets invoke conservation of momentum. Because the Earth and Mars are at either

end of the semi-major axis, we know L = r x p = mvr sin will just be mvr, because sin = 1 at the ends. We have

mvERE = mvMRM, or vM = vERE/RM = 73,185 mph/1.5237 = 48,031 mph. This is an amusing result, because Mars

orbital speed is 53,980 mph. This means the spacecraft needs to intersect the Martian orbit in front of Mars, and

then let Mars catch up with it! Also, it means that when the spacecraft eases into position, Mars will be thundering

towards it (hope the Captain remembers to check the rear-view mirror) at a speed of 53,980 48,031 = 5,949 mph.

To land on Mars, the spacecraft must negate this velocity differential in some way: blazing like a meteor into the

thin Martian atmosphere and using some form of air braking is a popular option. It would be much more expensive

to soft-land on Mars if it didnt have an atmosphere, because then you would have to drag fuel tanks all the way out

there and boost your speed by 5,949 mph to match that of the red planet.

- 04_TestbankUploaded byD Coleman
- Introduction to Orbital Mechanics_gatechUploaded byscdbarrett
- Aqa 2455 w Trb u04asqspaUploaded bymaneesh_massey_1
- HSC Physics Space WorkbookUploaded byphil megroin
- Solid Works Training MaterialUploaded bykamikyou
- Solutions ENGUploaded byJohn Cervantes Gom
- Satellite Aptitude AUploaded byramarajan27
- 3bodyProblem-2Uploaded byvisquare
- OPTIMIZATION of Ring BurdenUploaded byvelimier
- GravitationUploaded bydl9s6547
- 3bodyProblem-2Uploaded byvisquare
- Mechanics - Chap. 2 Problems)Uploaded byCarlos Carranza
- 2012 Junior Paper.pdfUploaded bylagostinha
- 19930015529Uploaded byIlclandei Marsigliesi Valeriani
- Kepler’s Differential EquationsUploaded byJohn Bird
- Isaac NewtonUploaded bySilvia Cachia
- Anal GeomUploaded byWemn Juniof
- planet research project and powerpointUploaded byapi-353550603
- SampleUploaded byrsanchez-
- 9783319499765-c1Uploaded byElias Romero IV
- The Leotta Theorem (Revised)Uploaded byMidgar21
- Module 6Uploaded byJabbar Aljanaby
- BEC198 Solutions PhysicsUploaded byEli Lilly Cemanes Marasigan
- Satellites sUploaded byHugo Romero Mairena
- Lecture Note 3 Osnap ArcUploaded byMarcelito Morong
- Kvapil_2Uploaded byManuela Córdova
- 16688 HBR Intel AdvertorialUploaded byanant2
- AIEEE2012 SOLUTIONS EntrancesofIndia.pdfUploaded byshubhammukri
- CG 1Uploaded byvaghani darshan
- COMENZI SCURTE-AutocadUploaded byBurduja Ion

- Bcx Ultra DocUploaded byargroazhdu
- 12.4.2Uploaded bykomoory
- IndusScientific-and-Technological-Contrib-Indus.pdfUploaded bysian017
- Ancient Indian CustomesUploaded bysian017
- 2ndGrade Math Test1Uploaded byscribd0306
- Overseas Development InstituteUploaded byCIES: Consorcio de Investigación Econimica y Social
- Key Stage 3 Ks3 Science 36P2 2010Uploaded byLow Fang Khim
- Meta AnalysisUploaded bysian017
- BernoulliUploaded byIvan Ernest Tomagos
- D-D-R.pdfUploaded bysike1977
- 2009 Arch Thai CavesUploaded bysian017
- 01 Thai Spirit HouseUploaded bysian017
- 8 Noon Saturday Jill Burynski Thai Massage for TableUploaded bychintengo
- game(huud)manual.pdfUploaded bysian017
- ExtinctionUploaded bysian017
- Ancient CivilizationsUploaded bysian017
- Monetary Economics in Retrospect (Greece)Uploaded bybretonalexander1
- The Encyclopedia of a Royal QueerUploaded bysian017
- Etp Octopus Product SheetUploaded bysian017
- LG SoftwareUploaded bysian017
- JapaneseghoststoriesUploaded bysian017
- Dread_End.pdfUploaded byRuxandra Zaharia
- Dinah’s Rage Thomas Mann & a. DiamantUploaded bysian017
- cycle-theory-sixth-dimension-909.pdfUploaded bysian017
- 0809.1309Uploaded bylakshmigsr6610
- Mathematics Practice.pdfUploaded bysian017

- 12 Signs of the Zodiac Re Formula DoUploaded byCaitlin Sarah
- Mystic Powers of KalSarp YogaUploaded bysunnyshastri6866
- B777_00..20_INTRO_1JAN2013Uploaded byJoe Ho
- Tugas PS 2 Moment FullUploaded bynuhman
- unit 2 lesson 1 digital lessonUploaded byapi-293552548
- 9780582854192 No Pre Intermediate English German French WrordlistUploaded byLencina Andrea
- CSP-520N-1Uploaded byfredtornay
- Beyond Ionosphere 00unitrich 1997 NASAUploaded byNestor Escala
- OVERVIEW OF INDUSTRIAL AND ROCKET TURBOPUMP INDUCER DESIGN.pdfUploaded byHossein Akbarshahi
- Stars and ConstellationsUploaded byMarin
- Effective Work Breakdown StructuresUploaded bykrvoliptanje
- How to Draw Manga Vol. 32 Mech. DrawingUploaded byDenis Pompollino
- PT18.5 SPA February 1996Uploaded byNa Na
- The Marine SextantUploaded byMark Christian Cano
- Structural Design and Sizing of a Metallic Cryotank ConceptUploaded byBilly M. Sprague
- OrbitusED User Manual Ver1.2Uploaded byDaniel Carvalhais
- callahan timUploaded byapi-411628131
- The Transit: Navigation Satellite SystemUploaded byjtek01
- Lib.frank.whiteUploaded byLuis Fernando Sánchez Rodríguez
- B-737 Horizontal TailUploaded byDani Quirante Flaaut Etc
- D20 Modern Aliens SupplementUploaded byKnoxos
- Star Wars the Clone Wars Secret Missions 03 Duel at Shattered Rock by Ryder WindhamUploaded byJessie Abraham Laidlaw
- jd16.pdfUploaded byFederico Velazquez
- NASA Facts VSTOL Aircraft 1964Uploaded byBob Andrepont
- NASA Proposed Skylab - Shuttle Mission - 1978Uploaded byOrion2015
- The Calypso Independence 2005-11Uploaded byXaxi Yayi
- Voyager 2 Encounter With Saturn Press KitUploaded byBob Andrepont
- Newtrack St 201504Uploaded byrsanchez-
- Vintage Airplane - Mar 1985Uploaded byAviation/Space History Library
- Mercury-Atlas Mission No. 4-8A (Capsule 8A)Uploaded byBob Andrepont