Investigation of a Lagrangian-point Propellant Depot Rendezvous Approach for an Interplanetary Mission to Mars
Date of Award
Thesis - Open Access
Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Hamilton Hagar, Ph.D.
First Committee Member
Sathya Gangadharan, Ph.D.
Second Committee Member
Bogdan Udrea, Ph.D.
This thesis investigates the feasibility of a refueling station for a beyond Earth orbit (BEO) mission. The propellant depot is located at the L2 -Lagrangian point within the Earth-Moon system. This investigation determines if a refueling mission will reduce propulsive energy requirements necessary for Earth departure of a BEO-vehicle to achieve an interplanetary transfer to Mars. Furthermore, this research presents a trade study which identifies approximate total requirements for a direct and rendezvous mission to Mars as well as the necessary fuel masses to complete each approach. This analysis provides conclusive information in determining the benefits in utilizing a rendezvous location for refueling a spacecraft en versus loading the required fuel masses into a launch vehicle to support a direct transfer to Mars.
Scholarly Commons Citation
Ehrlich, Joshua W., "Investigation of a Lagrangian-point Propellant Depot Rendezvous Approach for an Interplanetary Mission to Mars" (2013). Doctoral Dissertations and Master's Theses. 61.