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NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts

MAGNETOUR: Surfing Planetary Systems on Electromagnetic and Multi-Body Gravity Fields

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

MAGNETOUR enables a spacecraft to orbit and travel between multiple moons of an outer planet, using very little or even no propellant. To achieve this free-lunch 'Grand Tour', we exploit the unexplored combination of magnetic and multi-body gravitational fields of planetary systems.

We propose a new mission concept, called MAGNETOUR, that enables a spacecraft to orbit and travel between multiple moons of an outer planet, using very little or even no propellant. To achieve this free-lunch 'Grand Tour', we exploit the unexplored combination of magnetic and multi-body gravitational fields of planetary systems. This concept involves combining two main innovations: Design of a very low delta-v tour of planetary moons by considering the intrinsic multi-body gravitational dynamics of planetary systems, and Use of the electromagnetic Lorentz force as a revolutionary means for performing the required low delta-v maneuvers of our low-energy tour.  

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