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Space Transportation

ESA-JAXA Team Wins 'America's Cup of Rocket Science' 20

An anonymous reader writes: NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory just announced the winners of the 8th edition of the Global Trajectory Optimization Competition, aka the America's Cup of Rocket Science. For the first time, a joint team from ESA and JAXA won the prestigious award. They had to design a nearly impossible mission to perform space-based Very-Long-Baseline Interferometry using the formation flight of three spacecraft around the Earth. Their incredibly complex trajectory can be seen here on the YouTube channel of the winning team. The full final ranking can be also downloaded here.
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ESA-JAXA Team Wins 'America's Cup of Rocket Science'

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  • >> America's Cup of...

    Does that mean they got to cheat with weight?
    http://www.reuters.com/article... [reuters.com]

  • Glad they're running the contest, and congrats to ESA/JAXA... but this really shouldn't be likened to "America's Cup". The America's Cup is a sailing race, between actual sailboats. It's about not just design, but implementation: the vagaries of wind, the ability of sailors to collaborate, the properties of materials, tactics, reacting in real-time, etc.

    When I think "America's Cup of rocket science", I'd want, ya know, actual rockets racing against each other. If "rocket science" is going to be to rockets w

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Well, before that day arrives, this is as good as it gets. If DLR, ESA, NASA, JAXA compete in this 'simulated' race, I guess it must be a pretty awesome setup .... also, I think the name refers to the fact that the winner organizes the following edition.

    • Mod parent up.

      America's Cup is about actual hardware. This is about teams doing the maths and perhaps running their calculations in a simulator.

  • I'm not convinced that this solution works until I see it in Kerbal Space Program.

    Also, I'm a bit dissapointed that the solution is presented as an animation which is constantly sped up and down and rotated and with music playing. I would have liked something a bit more scientific, for example a narrator explaining the most important events and HOW they actually reached this solution and why it is so special (better than the others).

  • For which increasing the baseline is a requirement to get the range you need edit matter at multiple AU distances.

APL hackers do it in the quad.