ESA GNC Conference Papers Repository
Titan Flagship Mission 3-DOF Simulation Analysis
A NASA flagship mission to Titan, the largest moon of Saturn and the only moon in the solar system with a significant atmosphere, has been designed that uses three separate spacecraft, each requiring significant interaction with the atmosphere. The first vehicle is a Titan lander for lower-atmosphere and surface science. The second is an aerial vehicle for aerial science at approximately10 km altitude with an expected lifetime of one year. This spacecraft will use the natural winds of Titan to cover a large area over its lifetime. The third vehicle is a Titan orbiter that will interact with the atmosphere in two respects. The first atmospheric interaction is the orbital insertion maneuver that will be accomplished using aerocapture, during which time the hyperbolic approach of 6.5 km/s will be reduced to 1.6 km/s over 41 minutes with an exit periapsis altitude of 130 km. The second atmospheric interaction occurs after a propulsive maneuver has raised the periapsis after aerocapture to 1170 km, where the atmosphere will be sampled over several months. This is the first phase of aerosampling that covers southern latitudes. After a 3.3-year circular science phase at an altitude of 1700 km, a second phase of additional aerosampling is performed sampling northern latitudes. The atmospheric trajectory analysis for these three spacecraft will be discussed throughout this paper.