All the spacecraft and flying missions to outer space follow a certain trajectory that is pre-decided by the scientists. In a new white paper draft, submitted for peer review at Acta Astronautica, a team of researchers have suggested that future spacecrafts to Mars will have a chance to get off at Venus.
This flying opportunity will be possible as some of the human missions to Mars have to follow a Venus fly-by trajectory. Scientists also suggest that a trip to Venus, while going to Mars, will be cheap and convenient, as compared to flying directly from Earth to the red planet.
The paper also mentioned that flying directly from Earth to Mars might be a little difficult as scientists will have to wait for both the planets to align their orbits. The con of taking this is waiting for a period of one and a half year before the mission returns to the Earth.
“A dedicated year-long Venus flyby mission could serve as a valuable ‘shakedown cruise’ for the deep-space transport systems needed for the first human mission to Mars,” suggests the paper.
Flying through Venus will use its gravity to alter the course of the spacecraft, aiding in reduced amount of energy needed, saving fuel and the cost.
The researchers suggest that these flybys will give opportunities for astronauts to practice deep space human operations with a safe option to return to the Earth. “Venus flybys, as part of dedicated missions to Mars, also enable ‘human in the loop’ scientific study of the second planet,” they added.