Use of the tethered swingby maneuver to reach the Haumea dwarf planet
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The asteroid tethered swingby maneuver (ATSM) is analyzed in this paper. The maneuver implies turn of the spacecraft velocity by means of a tether anchored to an asteroid. Mission to Haumea dwarf planet is considered. The following spacecraft transfer trajectories with launch in 2025 and 2027 are analyzed in the paper: Earth–Jupiter–Haumea and Earth–ATSM–Jupiter–Haumea. Only asteroids bigger than 40 km in diameter were considered in order to make hitting the asteroid by the tether anchor easier. Many Main Belt asteroids lowering total \(\Delta V\) of the transfers were found. A few of them giving the maximum effect of ATSM were selected and the transfers using them are analyzed in details. It is shown that the ATSM using these asteroids would lower substantially the total \(\Delta V\) or shorten significantly the time of flight. Technical problems of the ATSM implementation, such as possibly big mass of the tether and anchor, difficulty of hitting the asteroid and anchoring the tether securely etc., are considered. These problems would not allow to implement the ATSM at present time, but hopefully will be solved in near future.
KeywordsAstrodynamics Interplanetary misisons Tethers in space
The authors thank the grants # 473387/2012-3, 473164/2013-2, 406841/2016-0 and 301338/2016-7 from the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq); and grants # 2015/19880-6, 2016/24561-0 and 2016/14665-2 from São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP).
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