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ARTEMIS achieves unprecedented orbit; STK/Astrogator used for mission design

By: sclaypoole
Many satellites orbit Lagrangian points between the Earth and the Sun. None have orbited points between the Earth and Moon. Until now. NASA’s ARTEMIS (Acceleration, Reconnection, Turbulence and Electrodynamics of the Moon’s Interaction with the Sun) mission made history this summer when its two spacecraft (P1 and P2) performed a complex series of low-thrust maneuvers and Earth and Moon gravity assists to achieve Lissajous orbits around the Earth-Moon L1 and L2 libration points. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) engineers used STK/Astrogator extensively to design each orbit maneuver, which totaled nearly 100 maneuvers over a two-year operations timeframe. AGI's STK/Astrogator software was previously proven on GSFC Sun-Earth libration point missions including Wilkinson Microwave Anistropy Probe (WMAP) and James Webb Space Telescope.  Using AGI products helped the GSFC team overcome three challenges:
  1. Flying new orbits
  2. Minimizing propellant usage for P1 and P2
  3. Reusing software for fiscal responsibility and mission reliability
Read the full case study on and visit NASA's ARTEMIS site for STK visualizations of each mission milestone.
Posted: 8/17/2011 6:19:03 PM