The proposed robust trajectory design techniques and tool are significant for NASA in supporting its committed ambition of robotic and human space flight. Expected NASA applications are in the area of interplanetary mission design, missions to asteroids and comets, planetary moon tours, atmospheric entry, aerobraking, launch vehicle trajectory optimization, etc., all of which can benefit from the improved robustness in convergence as a result of the continuation methods. Existing NASA software packages such as the open-source GMAT (General Mission Analysis Tool), Copernicus, Malto, etc., can all be enhanced through wrappers or plugin implementing the proposed methods.
The proposed technology can find applications at other government agencies and commercial entities that deal with spacecraft trajectory design and launch vehicle analysis, such as the Air Force, Missile Defense Agency, Orbital Science Corporation, Boeing, SpaceX, etc. Potential applications can also be found in engineering and mathematical software market such as Analytical Graphics, Inc. and Mathworks, Inc. The benefit of the continuation methods goes beyond the spacecraft trajectory design because it can also improve the robustness of numerical optimal control solvers, which are used in a great deal of industries such as the automobile manufacturing, oil production, chemical plants, etc.