SPACE: Cycler orbits

Date: Tue Feb 19 2002 - 09:09:46 MST

In a recent news article, someone made mention of a cycler orbit between
Earth and Mars. The idea was to put a manned space station in such an orbit
so that it would "cycle" between encounters with Earth and Mars. This would
be a low cost way to ferry people, equipment, and supplies between planets.
The cycler orbit would need only a small amount of fuel for minor
corrections -- once the station was put into it.

I don't know the maths here, but I wonder if such a cycler is possible
between the Earth and the Moon. It might be a good way to prototype an
Earth-Mars cycler and easier routine access to the Moon might open it up to
faster commercial exploitation (mining, tourism) as well as feed into more
ambitious programs.

What do you think?

Daniel Ust

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