Nebula Public Library

The knowledge bank of ESA’s R&D programmes

Small Mars Satellite

Programme Reference
Start Date
End Date

The activities carried out in the phase 0 deal with the mission concept and, in particular, with the interplanetary analysis and contributions to the mission requirements. The activities can be summarized as follows:
- study of the state of the art of Mars landers, with focus on issues such as the launcher, the interplanetary trajectory, the type of planetary approach, the design of the spacecraft, the layout, the mass and power budgets, the aerodynamic parameters, the entry, descent & landing strategy;
- study of the interplanetary trajectory (transfer orbit, ΔV budget) aiming at identifying the minimum-cost options and providing indications of launch dates, transfer times and arrival dates;
- evaluation of options for the launch vehicle: cost, available volume, launch configuration, launch profile and escape velocity;
- analysis of the characteristics of the arrival trajectory with definition of the entry point and velocity.

Executive summary