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Aerocapture demonstration mission

Wed, 10/25/2023 - 14:02
Start Date: 
2022
Programme: 
Preparation
End Date: 
2023
Programme Reference: 
21-P-M-HRE-06-b
Country: 
France
Contractor: 
ArianeGroup
Status: 
Closed
Description: 

The AERODEM is an ESA demonstration mission that will implement an aerocapture phase in order to provide an atmospheric ∆V instead of a standard chemical one for orbiting a SpaceCraft around Mars. The aerocapture technique currently studied relies on a discrete event drag modulation technique that modifies only once the aerocapture module ballistic coefficient by separating / retracting the heatshield. In the perspective of future large missions to Mars, the mission will have to collect and transmit to Earth technology flight measurements that will be necessary for the implementation of the single drag modulation aerocapture technique. A pre-phase A study has been conducted by a consortium led by ArianeGroup with Airbus Defense & Space – Madrid, RTech and Jehier-Hutchison as partners. Two configurations are considered for AERODEM:

  • The Standalone configuration
  • The Piggy-Back configuration
Application Domain: 
Exploration
Technology Domain: 
10 - Flight Dynamics and GNSS
18 - Fluid Dynamics
20 - Structures
4 - Space Systems Environments and Effects
8 - System Design & Verification
9 - Mission Operation and Ground Data Systems
Competence Domain: 
2-Structures, Mechanisms, Materials, Thermal
6-Life & Physical Science Payloads, Life Support, Robotics & Automation
7-Propulsion, Space Transportation and Re-entry Vehicles
10-Astrodynamics, Space Debris and Space Environment
Keywords: 
aerocapture
aerobreaking
Mars
Orbit insertion
athmospheric drag
Re-entry
Orbital capture
Executive summary: