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JPL Small-Body Mission-Design Tool Search: help ]

   
   
   
   

Frequently Asked Questions


The interface takes a long time to load, what is wrong?

When you load the interface, the list of pre-computed missions and the dataset needed for generating the interactive plots are retrieved from the API server. Loading the data typically takes less than five seconds, but it will depend on your internet connection.

Can I find mission opportunities to all asteroids and comets?

There might be some small bodies that you cannot reach under the constraints and assumptions of this system. Note that assuming impulsive direct transfers is already a limitation since gravity assist maneuvers typically bring down the launch-vehicle requirements. The fact that the system did not find feasible missions does not imply that no missions can be found if you change the design parameters.

Can I look for past launch opportunities?

Yes, you just to have to select the five-year launch period that you are interested in using the drop-down menu in the Axis Setup menu. You can explore mission opportunities in the past and also in the future. However, the dataset of pre-computed missions does not include mission options that were launched earlier than the present year. You will have to sample those missions yourself, using the interactive plots.

I cannot find a newly discovered object.

The mission-design system will automatically process new discoveries and refined orbits. Please allow one or two days after discovery for the system to identify the object and process it. Sometimes, there are hundreds of thousands of objects that need to be processed at the same time, and this might delay the update.

I selected a new mission from the Mission Selection or Launch-Vehicle Selection tools, but I do not see it on the table.

Make sure that the table is ordered by descending Id (first column). When you sample new missions, they are added to the table with increasing Id values.

I am clicking on the plots, but nothing happens. Why is the mission not being selected?

You will only be able to select a mission if it is feasible, which means C3 < 150 km2/s2. If either the primary or the secondary contours are set to "Rendezvous," the maximum allowed C3 will be given by the capabilities of the selected launch vehicle. Check the information displayed in the HOVER INFO tag to know if a solution can be selected. For example, the Launch-Vehicle Selection tool in rendezvous mode ("Rdzvs") will allow you to select missions if only one launch vehicle is selected. The reason is that, for a given launch date, the time of flight that optimizes the mass might be different depending on which launcher you choose. Just select one launch vehicle at a time.

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