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Low cost Mercury orbiter and Mercury sample return missions using solar sail propulsion

McInnes, Colin and Hughes, Gareth W. and Macdonald, M. (2003) Low cost Mercury orbiter and Mercury sample return missions using solar sail propulsion. Aeronautical Journal, 107 (1074). pp. 469-478. ISSN 0001-9240

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Abstract

The use of solar sail propulsion is investigated for both Mercury orbiter (MO) and Mercury sample return missions (MeSR). It will be demonstrated that solar sail propulsion can significantly reduce launch mass and enhance payload mass fractions for MO missions, while MeSR missions are enabled, again with a relatively low launch mass. Previous investigations of MeSR type missions using solar electric propulsion have identified a requirement for an Ariane V launcher to deliver a lander and sample return vehicle. The analysis presented in this paper demonstrates that, in principle, a MeSR mission can be enabled using a single Soyuz-Fregat launch vehicle, leading to significant reductions in launch mass and mission costs. Similarly, it will be demonstrated that the full payload of the ESA Bepi Colombo orbiter mission can be delivered to Mercury using a Soyuz-Fregat launch vehicle, rather than Ariane V, again leading to a reduction in mission costs.

Item type: Article
ID code: 5439
Keywords: solar sail propulsion, Mercury orbiter missions, Mercury sample return missions, Mechanical engineering and machinery, Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics, Aerospace Engineering
Subjects: Technology > Mechanical engineering and machinery
Technology > Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
Department: Faculty of Engineering > Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Technology and Innovation Centre > Advanced Engineering and Manufacturing
Related URLs:
    Depositing user: Strathprints Administrator
    Date Deposited: 05 Mar 2008
    Last modified: 02 Jun 2014 10:34
    URI: http://strathprints.strath.ac.uk/id/eprint/5439

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