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Project Voyager – A Map to Navigate our Dynamic Universe

10 Dec 2014, 02:17 UTC
Project Voyager – A Map to Navigate our Dynamic Universe
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

This is an excerpt taken from a recent article by Zachary Fejes on Discovery Space News. The full article on Discovery can be found here.

“Indulge me, for a moment, in a brief thought experiment.
You have just become the pilot of a modern spacecraft, let’s call it the USS Lucky, docked with the International Space Station. Your mission: fly to Jupiter and check out its moons. Congratulations on the job.
You start by checking out your craft. It’s got a single rocket booster in the back with enough fuel for one really big burn, or perhaps a number of small ones. It can turn in any direction without too much trouble.
You step inside your capsule, and notice your first problem. There is definitely not enough fuel to push straight to Jupiter from Earth. That’s troublesome! But clearly the scientists and engineers back at home put in enough fuel for you to make the trip – after all, the mission planners at the ESA managed to get Rosetta to a distant comet – so you’ll just have to figure out the best way to go. You remember reading about doing a ‘gravitational slingshot’ somewhere, but that may ...

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