Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

William E. Wiesel, PhD


The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) catalog of near-Earth objects (NEOs) such as asteroids and comets contains over 6600 asteroids and 150 comets as of February of 2010. This includes over 1000 potentially hazardous asteroids, or objects with orbits that pass close enough to Earth to pose a potential impact threat. The asteroid community believes there are a significant number of objects still undiscovered, which makes finding, tracking, and calculating missions to study these objects an active area of research. This study was based on finding orbit solutions using Earth gravity assist to visit one near-Earth object (NEO) a year for 16 years with minimal characteristic velocities for a conventional impulsive thrust propulsion system. Using a user-defined launch date, the program iterates on a number of variables to populate lists of acceptable targets and outputs key mission parameters and 3D plots of the orbits involved.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number