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New Proposed Path for Manned Trips to Mars: Let Mars' Gravity Capture Spacecraft

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68587435 story Posted by timothy on Sunday December 28, 2014 @02:58PMfrom the very-sun-tzu dept. As illustrated in this article at io9.com, the conventional method considered for launching a manned craft to Mars might make less sense, even if it takes less time, than a more complicated but more efficient means akin to a method that's been already been successfully used to minimize the amount of fuel used in exploring both within and beyond the solar system.Known as the "Hohmann Transfer" method, this type of maneuver is known to be effective. But it is also quite expensive and relies very heavily on timing. Hence why a new idea is being proposed which would involve sending the spacecraft out ahead of Mars' orbital path and then waiting for Mars to come on by and scoop it up.This is what is known as "Ballistic Capture", a new technique proposed by Professor Francesco Topputo of the Polytechnic Institute of Milan and Edward Belbruno, a visiting associated researcher at...(continued)
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