Multiple Mercury swingby sequence is applied to Mercury orbiter concept to provide sufficient payload mass. On the other hand, consecutive flybys may become the mission objective itself as was realized by the Mercury flyby mission U.S.Mariner 10 in 1974 - 1975 which included triple consecutive flybys. This paper focuses on this Mariner 10 type flyby mission and investigates the use of an Solar Electric Propulsion (SEP) in the Mercury-Mercury transfer phase, taking the advantage of the solar power availability during the interplanetary cruising inside Earth orbit. The use of SEP upgrades the resultant spacecraft mass as well as increases scientific observation opportunity. As an illustration, a small spacecraft design example is also presented.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Aerospace Engineering