Mercury sample return missions using solar sail propulsion

Gareth W. Hughes, Colin McInnes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

The use of solar sail propulsion is investigated for both Mercury orbiter (MO) and Mercury sample return missions (MeSR). It will be demonstrated that solar sail propulsion can significantly reduce launch mass and enhance payload mass fractions for MO missions, while MeSR missions are enabled, again with a relatively low launch mass. Previous investigations of MeSR type missions using solar electric propulsion have identified a requirement for an Ariane V launcher to deliver a lander and sample return vehicle. The analysis presented in this paper demonstrates that, in principle, a MeSR mission can be enabled using a single Soyuz-Fregat launch vehicle, leading to significant reductions in launch mass and mission costs. Similarly, it will be demonstrated that the full payload of the ESA Bepi Colombo orbiter mission can be delivered to Mercury using a Soyuz-Fregat launch vehicle, rather than Ariane V, again leading to a reduction in mission costs.
LanguageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 53rd Astronautical Federation Congress
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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solar propulsion
sample return missions
launch vehicles
payloads
solar electric propulsion
costs
launchers
European Space Agency
vehicles
requirements

Keywords

  • solar sail propulsion
  • Mercury orbiter missions
  • Mercury sample return missions

Cite this

Hughes, G. W., & McInnes, C. (2002). Mercury sample return missions using solar sail propulsion. In Proceedings of the 53rd Astronautical Federation Congress
Hughes, Gareth W. ; McInnes, Colin. / Mercury sample return missions using solar sail propulsion. Proceedings of the 53rd Astronautical Federation Congress. 2002.
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Hughes, GW & McInnes, C 2002, Mercury sample return missions using solar sail propulsion. in Proceedings of the 53rd Astronautical Federation Congress.

Mercury sample return missions using solar sail propulsion. / Hughes, Gareth W.; McInnes, Colin.

Proceedings of the 53rd Astronautical Federation Congress. 2002.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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Hughes GW, McInnes C. Mercury sample return missions using solar sail propulsion. In Proceedings of the 53rd Astronautical Federation Congress. 2002