Comparative Design and Ballistic Analysis of Using Chemical and Electric Propulsion Systems in the Solar Probe Project
The possibility of implementing the solar probe project by launching a research satellite into the system of heliocentric orbits with a relatively small perihelion radius and a sufficiently large inclination to the solar equator (the inclination of the last heliocentric orbit to the plane of the solar equator should be at least 30°) is analyzed. A comparative design and ballistic analysis of the possibility of using chemical and electric propulsion systems (EP) when launching a spacecraft into the considered system of heliocentric orbits is conducted. The transport systems being analyzed assume the use of the Soyuz-2-1b launch vehicle and the chemical upper stage Fregat when launching the spacecraft from Earth. The propulsion systems of the spacecraft itself are different. In one case, a chemical propulsion system is used, in the other, a solar EP based on one stationary plasma thruster of the SPT-140 type. The time of launching the spacecraft into the last heliocentric orbit of the considered orbit system is limited to 5 years from above. It was shown that using EP can significantly increase the spacecraft mass in operational orbits (from 910 to 1600 kg).