Chemical and solar-electric-propulsion systems analyses for mars sample return missions

Benjamin B. Donahue, Shaun E. Green, Victoria L. Coverstone, Byoungsam Woo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Conceptual in-space transfer stages, including those using solar electric propulsion and chemical propulsion with aerobraking or aerocapture assist at Mars, were evaluated. Roundtrip Mars sample return mission vehicles were analyzed to determine how technology selections influence payload delivery capability. Results show how specific engine, thruster, propellant, capture mode, trip time, and launch-vehicle technology choices would contribute to increasing payload delivered to Mars or decreasing the size of the required launch vehicles. Low-thrust trajectory analyses for solar-electric transfer were generated with the SEPTOP code.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)170-177
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Spacecraft and Rockets
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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