Missions to Venus: Analysis Using Optimum Interplanetary Trajectory Software
By Adam Hibberd, i4is Technical Team
A lot of media attention and interest in the scientific community at the moment centred on Venus in regard to the discovery of phosphine in its atmosphere and therefore potential life. The question now is how do we get there? Optimum Interplanetary Trajectory Software can be brought to bear on this problem and help answer the question.
Let us consider the obvious route which is a direct trajectory from Earth to Venus. To make such a mission viable, we need a trajectory which will get there with least effort. ‘Effort’ is a bit vague and naturally leads to the question ‘What do we mean or how do we quantify, effort?’ Well the answer to this is a metric known as ‘DeltaV’ or ΔV.
DeltaV has various definitions for different mission contexts but is generally understood to be a velocity increment which needs to be minimised in order that as little fuel as possible is utilised to achieve the mission requirements. The lower this fuel mass, that means the more mass can be dedicated to useful stuff like scientific instruments and solar panels etc.