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Trajectory Browser

Trajectory Search
Example Queries
User guide

Trajectory Browser User Guide

Please refer to this section for a description of the main characteristics and limitations of this web application.


The Trajectory Browser is a search engine that allows a user to find impulsive trajectories to planetary bodies meeting specific constraints. The tool does not solve trajectories when queried, but instead pulls desired solutions from a pre-computed database of trajectories that is periodically maintained with some of the latest small-body discoveries. It is meant to be used as a first-cut survey to obtain preliminary accessibility results from a large population of planetary bodies. Results can then be used as initial guesses for trajectory design software yielding high-fidelity impulsive or low-thrust solutions.

It is important to note that there are several limitations to the trajectory solver due to various approximations and assumptions used to compute these trajectories, and therefore should not be used for any application other than a preliminary survey.

The Trajectory Browser currently holds trajectories for four classes of missions:

One-way Flyby Earth Departure → Destination Flyby
Rendezvous Earth Departure → Destination Rendezvous
Round-tripFlyby Earth Departure → Destination Flyby → Earth return
Rendezvous Earth Departure → Destination Rendezvous → Destination Departure → Earth return

Table 1: Mission types and itineraries.

Limitations and approximations

Listed below is a summary of the Trajectory Browser's various limitations, approximations and sources of error:

Destination selection

Trajectory solver


  1. Folkner, W., Williams, J., Boggs, D., The Planetary and Lunar Ephemeris DE 421, IPN Progress Report 42-178

  2. Bate, R., Mueller, D., White, J., Fundamentals of Astrodynamics, Dover Publications, 1971, pp. 227-234

  3. Foster, C., Daniels, M., Mission Opportunities for Human Exploration of Nearby Planetary Bodies, AIAA SPACE 2010, Anaheim, CA, AIAA 2010-8609

  4. Bate, R., Mueller, D., White, J., Fundamentals of Astrodynamics, Dover Publications, 1971, pp. 357-381

  5. Hollenbeck, G., New Flight Techniques for outer Planet Missions, AAS paper 75-087, 1975 AIAA/AAS Astrodynamics Specialist Conference