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Revista mexicana de astronomía y astrofísica

Print version ISSN 0185-1101


SANCHEZ, D. M.; SUKHANOV, A. A.  and  PRADO, A. F. B. A.. Optimal trajectories to Kuiper Belt Objects. Rev. mex. astron. astrofis [online]. 2019, vol.55, n.1, pp.39-54. ISSN 0185-1101.

The present paper searches for transfers from the Earth to three of the Kuiper Belt Objects (KBO): Haumea, Makemake, and Quaoar. These trajectories are obtained considering different possibilities of intermediate planet gravity assists. The model is based on the “patched-conics” approach. The best trajectories are found by searching for the minimum total Δ V transfer for a given launch window, inside the 2023-2034 interval, and disregarding the Δ V required for the capture at the target object. The results show transfers with duration below 20 years that spend a total Δ V under 10 km/s. There is also one trajectory for each of the KBOs with Δ V under 10 km/s and duration below 10 years, using the Jupiter swingby. For the 20-year trajectories, there are also asteroids in the main belt that could be encountered with low additional Δ V, so increasing the scientific return of the mission.

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