Responsive integrated small spacecraft solar sail and payload design concepts and missions

  • Asteroid mining has the potential to greatly reduce the cost of in-space manufacturing, production of propellant for space transportation and consumables for crewed spacecraft, compared to launching the required resources from Earth’s deep gravity well. This paper discusses the top-level mission architecture and trajectory design for these resource-return missions, comparing high-thrust trajectories with continuous low-thrust solar-sail trajectories. This work focuses on maximizing the economic Net Present Value, which takes the time-cost of finance into account and therefore balances the returned resource mass and mission duration. The different propulsion methods will then be compared in terms of maximum economic return, sets of attainable target asteroids, and mission flexibility. This paper provides one more step towards making commercial asteroid mining an economically viable reality by integrating trajectory design, propulsion technology and economic modelling.

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Author:Jan Thimo Grundmann, Waldemar Bauer, Ralf Christian Boden, Matteo Ceriotti, Federico Cordero, Bernd Dachwald, Etienne Dumont, Christian D. Grimm, D. Hercik, A. Herique, Tra-Mi Ho, Rico Jahnke, Wlodek Kofman, Caroline Lange, Roy Lichtenheldt, Colin R. McInnes, Tobias Mikschl, Eugen Mikulz, Sergio Montenegro, Iain Moore, Ivanka Pelivan, Alessandro Peloni, Dirk Plettemeier, Dominik Quantius, Siebo Reershemius, Thomas Renger, Johannes Riemann, Yves Rogez, Michael Ruffer, Kaname Sasaki, Nicole Schmitz, Wolfgang Seboldt, Patric Seefeldt, Peter Spietz, Tom Spröwitz, Maciej Sznajder, Norbert Toth, Giulia Viavattene, Elisabet Wejmo, Friederike Wolff, Christian Ziach
Parent Title (English):Conference: 5th International Symposium on Solar Sailing (ISSS 2019)
Document Type:Conference Proceeding
Year of Completion:2019
Date of the Publication (Server):2022/06/09
Conference: 5th International Symposium on Solar Sailing (ISSS 2019)At: Aachen, Germany
Institutes:FH Aachen / Fachbereich Luft- und Raumfahrttechnik
FH Aachen / IfB - Institut für Bioengineering