- #1

andrewbee

I am researching a book, and would love to have the help of a space scientist (or similar) who can calculate orbits etc.

Specifically I need accurate figures for an Earth to Mars trip, in a Hohmann transfer orbit, not using conventional propulsion but using a VASIMR engine.

Givens for the plot of the book:

- Total transfer time from low Earth orbit to the orbit of Phobos is about 6 months

- Thrust is continuous, accelerating for the first half of the trip and then decelerating for the rest

I need to know, given

- Level of thrust, assuming constant thrust, to achieve transfer from LEO to the orbit of Phobos (around 3200 miles above Martian surface) in 6 months (given in m/s2)

Given the above level of thrust:

- How long it takes to escape from LEO to trans-Martian orbit

- How long in Hohmann orbit (i.e. trans-Mars)

- Fastest speed attained

- Total distance traveled from Earth to Mars (I believe it to be on the order of 500M kilometers in Hohmann orbit, but more exact figure would be nice)

I will take care of all the breakthroughs in propulsion and nuclear reactors required to achieve this :)

Thanks