NAVIGATION

The Importance of My Job

Congratulations, you have been chosen as the Navigation  (NAV) officer for this important mission. As a member of the NAV team, you are responsible for tracking the position of the Spacecraft and getting the Mission Commander in orbit around Europa. Your calculations will be vital to getting the Mission Commander to orbit Europa and send the probe to the surface and return to the Jupiter Gateway. Once the probe has been launched, you are responsible for getting the Spacecraft back to the Jupiter Gateway. 

You will need to follow every step on this page, without skipping a single step. If you find at any point that the readings from the spacecraft are not safe, you must inform the crew! 

You will be communicating with other teams using the CHAT and your MICROPHONE.

When using CHAT you will see your messages and directions in Purple. Make sure you use the drop down menu to select the correct team you want to send the message to.  Once you have typed it in the CHAT, make sure to hit Enter so that the team receives it.

When using the MICROPHONE your directions and reading will be in Green .  Unmute your MICROPHONE, read your message and make sure you mute after.

JUPITER GATEWAY TO EUROPA

Follow these directions to navigate the spacecraft towards Europa:

 

  1. Read the information on Spacecraft travel by clicking on the box labeled SPACECRAFT TRAVEL.
SPACECRAFT TRAVEL

The spacecraft traveled for 6 years to get from Earth to the Jupiter Gateway. Today, the Mission Commander will need to complete the journey from the Jupiter Gateway to orbit Europa so that the probe can be sent to the surface and get data.

Europa is 7,250,000 km from the Jupiter Gateway.  

The spacecraft has been traveling at 50,000 kilometers/ hour for 6 days. 

2. Open the PROXIMITY TO EUROPA DATA LOG below and answer the questions.

PROXIMITY TO EUROPA DATA LOG

OPEN PROXIMITY TO EUROPA DATA LOG

Notepad

JUPITER GATEWAY TO EUROPA, CONT.

2. Find your MICROPHONE and unmute.  Read the following loudly.:

“The NAV team has a message for the Mission Commander and the NRG team. The Spacecraft is nearing  Europa.  The Spacecraft needs to continue for _______________ km.  Standby for directions for Europa orbit insertion.” 

3. Mute the Microphone.

4. Read the information on Spacecraft travel by clicking on the box labeled EUROPA APPROACH.

 

EUROPA APPROACH

Once the Spacecraft has reached Europa, it will need to orbit it. Europa is traveling at 50,000 km/hr. We will need to reach Europa and then allow the gravity of Europa to pull us into their orbit. The Spacecraft needs to go 3500 km/hr to be pulled into an orbit around Europa allowing  Europa’s gravity to dominate. 

5. Open the  EUROPA APPROACH  DATA LOG and calculate if the Spaecraft needs to speed up or slow down to orbit Europa. 

EUROPA APPROACH DATA LOG

OPEN EUROPA APPROACH DATA LOG

THRUST

1. Read the following information about THRUST to understand how we will speed up or slow down the Spacecraft.

THRUST

 

Thrust is the force which moves a spacecraft through the air and through space. 

Thrust is generated by the propulsion system of the Spacecraft through the application of Newton’s third law of motion; For every action there is an equal and opposite re-action. If the Spacecraft is slowing down, we will need to turn the Spacecraft around so that the engines thrust is in reverse to slow down the Spacecraft. If the Spacecraft is speeding up, we will keep it in the same direction and fire the engines to direct the thrust behind the Spacecraft and propel it faster. 

Thrust is measured in Newtons.

2. Open the ORBIT INSERTION DATA LOG and determine the direction and thrust needed to enter Europa’s orbit.

3. The NRG team will also calculate the thrust and direction needed.

EUROPA ORBIT INSERTION DATA LOG

OPEN EUROPA ORBIT INSERTION DATA LOG

THRUST

1. Once you select a Thrust Plan, unmute the microphone and read the following message:

“The NAV team has a message for the NRG team. Please verify that Thrust Plan _____ is confirmed for Europa orbit insertion.”  

2. After the message is sent, please mute your microphone

3.When you receive a message from NRG confirming the Thrust Plan, unmute the microphone and read the following message:

“This is NAV with an message for the COM team. The Spacecraft is nearing  Europa. The NRG and NAV Teams have confirmed Thrust Plan ____. Standby for directions for Europa orbit insertion.” 

4. After the message is sent, please mute your microphone

5. Standby for Europa Orbit Insertion. 

6. Notify the Flight Director through the CHAT that you have completed your primary tasks.

ATTENTION: Stop here until the probe is launched and probe data has been received.

SPACECRAFT RETURN TO JUPITER GATEWAY

Follow these directions to return the Spacecraft to the Jupiter Gateway:

  1. Read the information on Spacecraft return to the Jupiter Gateway.
JUPITER GATEWAY RETURN

In order for the Spacecraft to return to the Jupiter Gateway, the Spacecraft must escape the gravitational pull of Europa. The surface gravity of  Europa is 1.315m/s2. This compared to Earth’s surface gravity of 9.8 m/s2. Since the mass of Europa is so much less than the Earth and similar to the size of our Moon, its escape velocity is more like our Moon.

The escape velocity of Europa is 7,293 km/hr which equals 2025 km/sec

Our system for leaving Europa’s gravity needs to be calculated in meters/sec. You need to calculate how many meters per second the spacecraft needs to travel.

2. Open the EUROPA ESCAPE VELOCITY DATA LOG and calculate how many m/sec the Spacecraft needs to travel in order to leave Europa’s gravity. The Spacecraft also needs the right amount of thrust to leave Europa’s surface gravity. 

3. Answer question 1 and fill out the table on the EUROPA ESCAPE VELOCITY DATA LOG.  

EUROPA ESCAPE VELOCITY DATA LOG

OPEN EUROPA ESCAPE VELOCITY DATA LOG

4. Send the following message to COM in CHAT:

The NAV team has a message for the Mission Commander. In order to escape Europa’s gravity, the Spacecraft needs to travel at __________ m/s. To achieve this, set the thrust at _____________ newtons for 60 seconds.

Notepad

SPACECRAFT RETURN TO JUPITER GATEWAY

1. The Spacecraft is now traveling at 7,293 km/hr. The Spacecraft needs to travel at 50,000 km/hr to return to the Jupiter Gateway and be outside the radiation belts. 

2. Open the EUROPA RETURN TO GATEWAY DATA LOG.

 

OPEN EUROPA RETURN TO GATEWAY DATA LOG

1. Unmute the MICROPHONE and read the following message:

This is the NAV team with a message for the Mission Commander. The Spacecraft needs to increase its speed by ___________ km/hr to return and dock with the Jupiter Gateway. To achieve this, set the thrust at _____________ Newtons for 5 seconds.

2. Mute your MICROPHONE  and wait for the Mission Commander to acknowledge.

 

DOCKING WITH GATEWAY

Follow these directions to return the Spacecraft to the Jupiter Gateway:

 

  1. Read the information on Spacecraft docking with the Jupiter Gateway.
DOCKING WITH GATEWAY

Hand-eye coordination, transferring mental images to a monitor screen, following the proper maneuver sequences, and the ability to track several functions simultaneously as in video games actually do have real-life payoffs.

As the Mission Commander closes in on the Jupiter Gateway, they must use a laser to assure that they are in line with the docking target.

Docking Ring

Practice on the simulators and classroom education on scientific principles at work help astronauts approach the maneuver with confidence.

2. Unmute your microphone and read the following message:

This is the NAV team with a message for the COM Team. 

The NAV team has an alert for the Mission Commander and all Mission Controllers that the Spacecraft is ready to dock with the Jupiter Gateway.”

3. After the message is sent, please mute your microphone.

DOCKING WITH JUPITER GATEWAY 

Follow these directions to simulate docking with the Jupiter Gateway.

1. Once you open the docking simulator, click on INSTRUCTIONS to learn manuevering and docking tips.

2. Click here to practice docking: Docking Simulator.

3. Once you have successfully docked, notify the Mission Commandor by using the CHAT feature in your call software. 

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