A cheaper manned mission to Mars on the anvil

December 25, 2014 9:27 PM

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Though several unmanned probes have been successfully sent to Mars, the possibility of sending a manned mission there needs to cross many hurdles. First, it will be extremely expensive and fuel-intensive to put a spacecraft in orbit around Mars. Second, such voyages will have to be scheduled for narrow “launch windows”, with an arrival date when Earth and Mars are at their closest to each other. And this happens once in two years only.

All of it could change with the new technique for reaching Mars called “ballistic capture”. The new method has been described in a new research paper in the journal Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy. The researchers are Edward Belbruno and Francesco Topputo of Milan’s Polytechnic Universit...

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