Heliocentric Orbit Change for an Asteroid

Using GMAT for specific types of missions.

Heliocentric Orbit Change for an Asteroid

Postby nkgears » Wed Apr 19, 2017 2:21 am

Hi, I'm relatively new to GMAT, but I had several people recommend it for what I'm trying to do. A brief description: I am in a spacecraft design course at my university's Aerospace Engineering department (Iowa State). My group has been working on designing the mission profile for a spacecraft to push a NEO using an ion engine (specifically, the VASIMR). What I want to do is plan the trajectory for actually pushing the asteroid out of its heliocentric orbit back to Earth's heliocentric orbit and dropping it off at L4. We have decided that the easiest way to do this would be to define a spacecraft in GMAT, and give it the asteroid's characteristics. Then using our actual spacecraft's engine and fuel tank, thrust the spacecraft/asteroid off its orbit back to Earth orbit. What can I do using GMAT in this regard. For reference, our chosen asteroid is 1991 VG, having mass 490,000 kg, a = 1.03 AU, e = 0.051, i = 1.4°. The main issue is I have only taken one astrodynamics course before so my knowledge of orbit transfers begins and ends with Hohmann transfers, cislunar, and a little bit of interplanetary. Is there a simple way that I can do this?
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