In an orbital transfer the acquisition of orbit is the last step of the process. It occurs when the thrusters are activated, consuming the spacecraft's fuel and reducing its velocity. In this project we propose to study a method of orbit acquisition that consist of the break of a tether joining two bodies. This break produces orbital energy exchanges so that one of the particles gains energy, and the other one loses. The costs of this form of orbit acquisition are much smaller than the conventional method and still have the gain of throwing the other particle into another orbit that can be reused. The objectives of this study are the search of parameters, such as the tether length, particle masses, geometries involving the problem, among others, that can improve and optimize the process.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: