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New technique uses knot theory to create a ‘tube map’ around planets and moons


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New technique uses knot theory to create a ‘tube map’ around planets and moons

Just as sat-nav did away with the need to argue over the best route home, scientists from the Surrey Space Centre have developed a new method to find the optimal routes for future space missions without the need to waste fuel. 

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In recent decades, space missions have increasingly relied on the ability to change the course of a satellite’s path through space without using fuel.

One way of doing this is to find ‘heteroclinic connections’ - the paths that allow spacecraft to transfer from one orbit to another without using fuel.

The mathematics for finding these paths is complex – usually calculated by using vast computing power to churn through one option after another or by making an ‘intelligent guess’ and then investigating it further.

Read More: ➡️ University of Surrey

 

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