Parking orbit selection for mars aerocapture-entry systems

Evan J. Zinner, Zachary R. Putnam

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


This study explores parking orbit selection for an aerocapture-entry system at Mars and assesses the impact on vehicle design. For dual-heat-pulse trajectories, there is a tradeoff between energy dissipated during aerocapture and energy dissipated during entry. This study explores that tradeoff and the effects on the total entry system mass. The effect of non-virgin thermal protection system during entry, descent, and landing is considered. The analysis finds that the mass from the thermal protection system does not vary significantly depending on orbit selection. The larger driver of entry system mass is the propellant needed to stabilize the parking orbit. This leads to longer period parking orbits having less entry system mass.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpaceflight Mechanics 2019
EditorsFrancesco Topputo, Andrew J. Sinclair, Matthew P. Wilkins, Renato Zanetti
PublisherUnivelt Inc.
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9780877036593
StatePublished - 2019
Event29th AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting, 2019 - Maui, United States
Duration: Jan 13 2019Jan 17 2019

Publication series

NameAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences
ISSN (Print)0065-3438


Conference29th AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting, 2019
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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