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Daring gravity assist maneuvers of past space missions

With great science comes great engineering

Studying the Sun from above

Artist’s impression of the Ulysses spacecraft. Source: NASA JPL
Visual showing the orbital plane of the planets of the Solar System. The Ulysses spacecraft had to achieve a ‘first of its kind’ polar orbit around the Sun. Source: tes teach
Artist’s impression of Ulysses passing through the tail of comet Hyakutake in May 1996. Source: NASA JPL

The “Billion Euro gamble” of the comet chasing probe

Early activity of comet 67P as imaged by the Rosetta spacecraft between January 31 to March 25, 2015. Source: ESA Flickr
Rosetta’s 10-year journey through the Solar System involved multiple flybys, including one around Mars. Source: ESA
Stunning image of Rosetta spacecraft above Mars taken by the Philae lander camera onboard Rosetta. Source: ESA
Side note: The Mission Control Systems Expert at TeamIndus — Mohini Parameswaran — has been a part of the Rosetta team. She worked with ISRO and ESOC (European Space Operations Center) on numerous space missions and we are privileged to have her work with us on our mission to the Moon.

Using radiation pressure from the Sun to perform a flyby

Artist’s impression of MESSENGER orbiting Mercury. Source: Wikipedia
MESSENGER spacecraft’ trajectory from launch to orbit insertion around Mercury. Source: John Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory
Artist’s impression of the Japanese spacecraft IKAROS. It is accelerated using the Sun’s radiation pressure. Source: Wikipedia
MESSENGER image from the a Mercury flyby showing lava-flooded craters and large expanses of smooth volcanic plains on the planet. Source: Wikipedia
SolarSailingAPL2011.Final.doc - OShaughnessy.LCPMC.2011.pdf




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Jatan Mehta

Space and Moon exploration writer ~ Contributing Editor, The Planetary Society ~ Thinker | Website: