Optimal interplanetary trajectories using constant radial thrust and gravitational assists

Aaron J. Trask, William J. Mason, Victoria L. Coverstone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The missions to planets outside the orbit of Mars using radial thrust propulsion and gravity assist trajectories were investigated. It was found that 5-deg thrust angle reduced the required impulsive velocity change to circularize the final orbit. The change was effected without a significant increase in burn time or total flight time. A solar-powered propulsion system was preferred during flyby transfer of the space flight from one planet to another through a middle planet as a smaller cutoff radius was produced during this transfer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)503-506
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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