A survey of mission opportunities to trans-neptunian objects

Ryan Mcgranaghan, Brent Sagan, Gemma Dove, Aaron Tullos, J. E. Lyne, Joshua P. Emery

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Preliminary designs for high thrust, flyby missions to five large trans-Neptunian Objects are discussed, with an emphasis on Quaoar, but also including Sedna, Makemake, Haumea, and Eris. The primary focus of this study was the design of the interplanetary trajectory for Earth departure dates between 2014 and 2050. The best trajectories identified use only a Jupiter gravity assist, require a total mission delta-V as low as 7.15 km/s and have arrival V values at the target comparable to those of the New Horizons mission to Pluto. Transit times range from 13.57 years for missions to Quaoar to 24.48 years to reach Sedna and Eris. Jupiter periapse radius is a critical factor for these missions, with satisfactory trajectories requiring values ranging from 3.5 to 25 planetary radii.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)296-303
Number of pages8
JournalJBIS - Journal of the British Interplanetary Society
Issue number9-10
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Interplanetary
  • Mission design
  • Trans-Neptunian objects

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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