Low-thrust aldrin cycler with reduced encounter velocities

K. Joseph Chen, Masataka Okutsu, Damon F. Landau, James M. Longuski

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


We design a new version of a cycler orbit between Earth and Mars (known as the Aldrin cycler) in which we use low thrust to reduce the encounter velocities. We slow that by reducing the encounter velocities at both planets, the propellant needed by the taxis to perform hyperbolic rendezvous can be significantly reduced. If the V-infinity reduction is large enough, two-stage taxis can be used instead of three-stage taxis, thus further reducing the required injected mass to a low-Earth orbit (IMLEO) for a particular cycler trajectory. However, as the V-infinity decreases, the propellant expenditure for the cycler vehicle increases. Our trade studies (over seven synodic periods) show that V-infinity reductions can be effective in reducing the total IMLEO (i.e. cycler plus taxi) propellant for low-thrust Aldrin cycler missions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCollection of Technical Papers - AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, 2006
PublisherAmerican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc.
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)1563478226, 9781563478222
StatePublished - 2006
EventAIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, 2006 - Keystone, CO, United States
Duration: Aug 21 2006Aug 24 2006

Publication series

NameCollection of Technical Papers - AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, 2006


OtherAIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference, 2006
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityKeystone, CO

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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