Use and sizing of rocket hoppers for planetary surface exploration
Author(s)Michel, Wendelin X
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Jeffrey A. Hoffman.
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The utilization of rocket hoppers can provide a valuable means of obtaining enhanced mobility for planetary surface exploration missions. Hoppers offer higher exploration versatility than landers, rovers, or other surface exploration systems through their ability to quickly traverse difficult terrain in a variety of planetary environments. Furthermore, using a hover hop rather than a ballistic hop can provide many operational advantages. As the distance between target sites increases, the advantages of a single hopper compared to multiple landers decreases. However, in certain cases, in-situ resource utilization could overcome this problem. A detailed seven-phase hover hop model, simplified approximation formulas for lunar hops, and an optimization tool are presented in this thesis. With these, it becomes possible to quickly obtain optimized values for the vehicle mass, engine mass, and other mission parameters for a specified hopper mission. Results obtained from the application of a lunar hover hop model to realistic mission scenarios demonstrate the utility of hoppers for tasks relevant to future robotic and human exploration of the Moon.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2010.Page 98 blank. Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 93-97).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Aeronautics and Astronautics.