BIS Prestige Lecture – Teaching Old Spacecraft New Tricks

THIS IS A PAST EVENT – HYPERLINKS AND FORMS HAVE BEEN REMOVED

Speaker: Robert Farquhar

Date: 3 April 2013
Start Time: 6:30 pm
End Time: 8:30 pm

Venue: 27/29 South Lambeth Road, London, SW8 1SZ

In 1950, Sir Arthur C. Clarke suggested that future colonies on the farside of the Moon might use a comsat stationed at the Earth-Moon L2 libration point to communicate with each other.  In 1966, this idea inspired a Stanford researcher to devise a “halo-orbit” mode for lunar farside communications.  However, the first implementation of the halo-orbit concept did not occur until 1978 when the International Sun-Earth Explorer-3 (ISEE-3) spacecraft was placed into a large halo orbit around the Sun-Earth L1 libration point.  From this location, ISEE-3 was able to continuously monitor solar-wind conditions upstream from the Earth.  In 1982, ISEE-3 was given two additional mission objectives, exploration of the Earth’s distant magnetotail, and an encounter with comet Giacobini-Zinner.  Now, thirty years later, ISEE-3 [renamed International Cometary Explorer (ICE) in 1983] is located in a heliocentric orbit about 0.3 AU from Earth.  ISEE-3/ICE will return to the Earth’s vicinity in August 2014, and use a lunar gravity-assist manoeuvre to return to its original halo orbit.  In 2018, it will use another lunar gravity-assist manoeuvre to fly through the tail of comet Wirtanen in December 2018.  ISEE-3/ICE will be NASA’s contribution to a proposed joint Chinese-American two-spacecraft exploration of comet Wirtanen.  The presentation will give a full account of the ISEE-3/ICE flight history and its future mission options.  By demonstrating the usefulness and practicality of halo orbits and lunar gravity-assist trajectories, ISEE-3/ICE has paved the way for a number of follow-on missions including a planned human mission to the vicinity of the Earth-Moon L2 libration point in 2021.

Entrance fee: Members £10, Non-members £20.

Pre-booking is essential as seating is limited, and early booking is advised. To book your ticket click here

Doors open at 5.30 pm, the lecture starts at 6.30 pm, with a Q&A session at 7.30 pm and refreshments included in the price. Doors close at 9.00 pm.

THIS IS A PAST EVENT – HYPERLINKS AND FORMS HAVE BEEN REMOVED
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