Mars free returns via gravity assist from venus

Masataka Okutsu, James M. Longuski

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The safety of the crew is the top priority for human exploration of Mars. If an unexpected emergency occurs, a free-return trajectory brings the spacecraft back to the Earth without a deterministic maneuver. We use an automated design tool to search for Mars free-return trajectories, which satisfy NASA's Design Reference Mission (DRM) constraints. While no cases exist for Mars alone, a Mars-Venus free return does meet the DRM requirements for a launch in 2014. This trajectory is remarkably fortuitous as it does not exist for many years prior to or after the 2014 date.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 2000
EventAstrodynamics Specialist Conference 2000 - Dever, CO, United States
Duration: Aug 14 2000Aug 17 2000


OtherAstrodynamics Specialist Conference 2000
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityDever, CO

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


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