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Encyclopedia > Aerobraking
An artist's conception of a spacecraft aerobraking
An artist's conception of a spacecraft aerobraking

Aerobraking is a technique used by spacecraft in which it uses drag within a planetary atmosphere to reduce its velocity relative to the planet. An artists conception of a vehicle aerobraking; from NASA http://mix. ... An artists conception of a vehicle aerobraking; from NASA http://mix. ... Ariane 5 lifts off with the Rosetta space probe on March 2, 2004. ... For a solid object moving through a fluid or gas, drag is the sum of all the aerodynamic or hydrodynamic forces in the direction of the external fluid flow. ... A planet in common parlance is a large object in orbit around a star that is not a star itself. ... Atmosphere is the general name for a layer of gases that may surround a material body of sufficient mass. ...

Aerobraking has been used extensively over the decades by spacecraft orbiting Earth as a means to remove their orbital velocity and return to the surface. This removes a large amount of kinetic energy over a short period of time, most of which is converted into heat by shock heating the air ahead of the spacecraft. Spacecraft require a sturdy heat shield to survive the maneuver, as well as an aerodynamic shape and good resistance to acceleration. Aerobraking has also been employed in a similar manner by landers sent to Mars, Venus, and Jupiter. In physics, an orbit is the path that an object makes, around another object, whilst under the influence of a source of centripetal force, such as gravity. ... Earth, also known as the Earth, Terra, and (mostly in the 19th century) Tellus, is the third-closest planet to the Sun. ... This article may be too technical for most readers to understand. ... A red-hot iron rod cooling after being worked by a blacksmith. ... For the vector animation platform, see Macromedia Shockwave. ... In aeronautics, a heat shield is a protective layer on a spacecraft or ballistic missile that is designed to protect it from high temperatures, usually those that result from aerobraking during entry into a planets atmosphere. ... Aerodynamics is a branch of fluid dynamics concerned with the study of gas flows, first analysed by George Cayley in the 1800s. ... Acceleration is the time rate of change of velocity, and at any point on a v-t graph, it is given by the gradient of the tangent to that point In physics, acceleration (symbol: a) is defined as the rate of change (or time derivative) of velocity. ... Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun in the solar system, named after the Roman god of war (the counterpart of the Greek Ares), on account of its blood red color as viewed in the night sky. ... (*min temperature refers to cloud tops only) Atmospheric characteristics Atmospheric pressure 9. ... Atmospheric characteristics Atmospheric pressure 70 kPa Hydrogen ~86% Helium ~14% Methane 0. ...

Aerobraking can also be used in a less extreme manner, to adjust the velocity of a spacecraft without permanently reentering the atmosphere. For example, the Mars Global Surveyor Mars orbiter used its solar panels as "wings" to control its passage through the tenuous upper atmosphere of Mars to lower the apoapsis of its orbit over the course of many months. This sort of aerobraking does not result in as extreme temperatures or pressures, and so does not require as many design considerations. Computer generated image of Global Surveyor spacecraft (NASA) The Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) is a American spacecraft. ... A Laughing Gull on the beach in Atlantic City. ... This article is about several astronomical terms (apogee & perigee, aphelion & perihelion, generic equivalents based on apsis, and related but rarer terms. ...

Aerobraking also makes a (Fictional) appearence in Arthur C Clarks Odyssey Two novel where two spacecraft (one Russian , one Chinese) both use aerobraking in Jupiters atmosphere to slow down for a mission to Io.

A further alternative approach to aerobraking and reentry is discussed in the reentry article. Atmospheric entry is the transition from the vacuum of space to the atmosphere of any planet or other celestial body. ...

See also

  Results from FactBites:
The Tricky Science of Aerobraking (1010 words)
In space engineering, aerobraking is the term applied to the practice of using a planetary atmosphere to change the orbit of a spacecraft.
Hence, for a planetary mission, the deeper a spacecraft dips into the atmosphere during its orbit, the larger the velocity change that is imparted and the higher the heating on the spacecraft.
During the aerobraking phase, repeated passes by the spacecraft through the upper regions of the Martian atmosphere were supposed to reduce its orbital period and result in the tight observational orbit required by the science payload.
  More results at FactBites »



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