Atomic Rockets

Spaceship Handbook Mission Table

This is a table of mission parameters calculated by Jon C. Rogers for the book Spaceship Handbook. It lists round-trip missions starting at Terra's surface, traveling to and landing on the destination planet (or at low orbit for Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune; due to the fact that the atmospheric pressure of these planets will crush your spacecraft like a cheap beer can) then lifting off, traveling back to and landing on Terra.

Six trajectories are listed, three impulse types and three constant acceleration brachistochrone types. "Impulse" means the spacecraft makes an initial burn then coasts for months.

Impulse trajectory I-1 is pretty close to a Hohmann minimum delta V / maximum time orbit, but with a slightly higher delta V. Impulse trajectory I-3 is near the transition between delta V levels for high impulse trajectories and low brachistochrone trajectories (it is a hyperbolic solar escape orbit plus 30 km/s). Impulse trajectory I-2 is in-between I-1 and I-3 (it is equivalent to an elliptical orbit from Mercury to Pluto).

Brachistochrone trajectories are labeled by their level of constant acceleration: 0.01 g, 0.10 g, and 1.0 g.

These values were calculated with a complicated mathematical model, and take more factors into account than the few I've covered.

I've only listed some of the planets. For the full table refer to the book.

Delta-v and Travel Time for Round Trips To or From Terra's Surface
(i.e., the "Mars" row gives data for both the Terra-Mars-Terra and the Mars-Terra-Mars missions)
DestinationImpulseBrachistochrone
I-1I-2I-30.01g0.10g1.00g
Mercury48,740 (8m)75,210 (2.5m)106,230 (2m)397,000 (33d)1,205,000 (13d)3,794,000 (4d)
Venus30,270 (9.6m)63,330 (1m)98,620 (21d)281,000 (19d)815,000 (8d)2,552,000 (3d)
Luna16,480 (9d)----260,000 (7h)
Mars29,930 (17m)52,930 (2m)94,110 (1.5m)370,000 (30d)1,115,000 (12d)3,508,000 (4d)
Ceres33,430 (2y7m)44,730 (7.5m)92,1600 (5m)655,000 (63d)2,040,000 (23d)6,441,000 (8d)
Jupiter69,990 (5y5m)72,690 (1y10m)118,010 (1y)1,000,000 (3.5m)3,142,000 (36d)9,930,000 (12d)
Ganymede61,880 (5y5m)56,250 (1y10m)67,130 (1y)1,001,000 (3.5m)3,145,000 (36d)9,938,000 (12d)
Saturn57,690 (12y1m)55,770 (4y11m)108,680 (2y3m)1,420,000 (5m)4,477,000 (52d)14,153,000 (17d)
Titan49,670 (12y1m)42,750 (4y11m)56,660 (2y3m)1,421,000 (5m)4,479,000 (52d)14,160,000 (17d)
Values are delta V in m/s, with transit times in parenthesis. Y = years, M = months, D = days, H = hours

Mr. Rogers had this to say about his table:

In (the) table, I was presenting a complete round trip from the surface of the earth to any Destination and back to Earth's surface-- which included the steps of the voyage as outlined in the figure 39, i.e., roughly:

  1. Launch to LEO
  2. Transfer to edge of Earths gravity well
  3. Transfer between planets
  4. Mid course corrections
  5. Capture Destination Planet
  6. Transfer to Low orbit around destination planet
  7. Circularize Low Orbit
  8. Land on Destination planet (with allowance for atmosphere braking)
  9. thru 16 And then Repeat the process in reverse to come back to Earth.

Now, one thing I'll admit to is that my numbers are NOT the most efficient possible for any particular trip. What I wanted to do was break up a round trip to anywhere into separate definable components so the Delta-Vs of those differing trajectories could be compared apples to apples. Any normal orbit analyst would have combined steps 2 and 3 (and 10 & 11) for an improved mission Delta-V. However, when you do that, you make comparing a Hohmann orbit to a "Big Ellipse Orbit" or a Hyperbolic + 30 Kms Orbit impossible--that is, they become Apples and oranges. (Don't forget...Space isn't Flat!)

By breaking the trip up into stages we can break out and compare the TRANSFER VELOCITY of the differing Orbits and compare them...and still be very close to the actual Delta V of a typical mission.

So, by this method I produced a valid statistical comparison of different orbits velocity requirements and round trip duration requirements. Real mission planners will beat my numbers by approximately 5-10% perhaps, but that only means you would have that much 'gas' left in the tanks following my flight plans.

Bottom line, dont forget to carry fuel for those mid course maneuvers (errors and asteroids-- Darn Rocks!!) and also to land or you'll find yourself in space with no fuel!

And now you know why I say: "May your jackstands strike earth before your tanks run dry!

Jon C. Rogers

Erik Max Francis' Mission Tables

Below are a series of tables for Hohmann transfer delta V requirments. Unlike the above table, they are for one-way trips to various destinations. For instance, the above table will give requirements for a Terra-Mars-Terra mission, but the tables below will give requirements for a Terra-Mars mission.

The tables assume that an orbit for each of the bodies is 100 km altitude (even for pointlessly tiny ones like Phobos and Deimos), and for surface launches it is presumed that all the bodies have no atmosphere (not true for, say, Titan).

The tables were created by Erik Max Francis' amazing Hohmann orbit calculator and the easy to use Python programming language (sample program here and here).

Delta V Required for Travel Using Hohmann Orbits

Table Legend

  • Start and destination planets are labeled along axes.
  • Values are in meters per second.
  • Values below the diagonal in blue are delta V's needed to go from orbit around one world to orbit around the other, landing on neither.
  • Values above the diagonal in red are delta V's needed to go from the surface of one world to the surface of the other, taking off and landing. If either is a gas giant, a 100 kilometer orbit is used instead of the planet's surface.
  • Diagonal values in gold are delta V's needed to take off from the surface of a world and go into circular orbit around it, or to land from a circular orbit.

Solar System

MercuryVenusEarthMarsVestaJunoEugeniaCeresPallasJupiterSaturnUranusNeptunePluto
Mercury2,94519,85223,52323,14324,48624,99125,05025,05925,09436,12130,20026,54827,17624,207
Venus9,5247,26521,70318,54219,31619,96020,04320,07820,11433,37227,47723,91324,62021,488
Earth13,0946,8877,84716,54016,36817,03517,12417,17017,20431,64225,70522,16922,91819,679
Mars16,8767,8875,7483,5027,5258,3238,4378,5248,55525,26519,69416,47517,39014,026
Vesta21,37111,8328,7564,0412341,1671,3121,5441,54420,96615,83412,96014,05910,529
Juno21,97812,5809,5284,9509337723362557820,36715,25312,42313,5589,968
Eugenia22,07512,7009,6545,1021,1241274449644320,26415,15212,32813,4699,869
Ceres21,86312,5149,4774,9631,11627919132075520,17215,04112,21613,3609,751
Pallas21,94312,5969,5585,0411,16026917223324220,17515,05112,22913,3749,764
Jupiter33,15926,04824,19221,95620,81320,31820,25219,93319,98242,53028,23724,08524,76520,493
Saturn27,23920,15618,25916,39215,68215,20515,14014,80614,86228,23725,49516,87517,57312,786
Uranus23,58816,59414,72613,17712,80912,37412,31611,98212,04124,08516,87515,08213,1537,760
Neptune24,21717,30215,47614,09313,90813,51013,45713,12613,18624,76517,57313,15316,6238,114
Pluto20,43213,35511,4209,9129,5609,1009,0388,6978,75719,67011,9576,9217,267802

Moons of Mars

PhobosDeimos
Phobos3745
Deimos7441

Moons of Jupiter

MetisAdrasteaAmaltheaIoEuropaGanymedeCallistoHimaliaElara
Metis71094,97013,48515,56117,00617,38015,58915,574
Adrastea8584,87713,41015,49516,94917,33015,54915,534
Amalthea4,9224,826549,39211,87613,81414,59613,36713,355
Io11,76811,6907,6251,7615,6898,0229,4319,5609,558
Europa14,18214,11310,4522,5451,3885,5046,8557,7057,709
Ganymede15,10715,04711,8714,3852,1771,9025,7726,6266,636
Callisto15,67615,62412,8506,0043,7482,1271,6915,0655,083
Himalia15,54215,49913,2797,8066,2814,6763,30559158
Elara15,55815,51513,2977,8346,3164,7173,3554120

Moons of Saturn

EpimetheusJanusMimasEnceladusTethysDioneRheaTitanIapetus
Epimetheus15721,5213,1564,3745,5526,7689,2308,481
Janus17261,5153,1494,3685,5466,7629,2248,475
Mimas1,4281,416921,6762,9434,1885,5148,3027,703
Enceladus3,0443,0311,4901121,3842,6534,0777,2496,827
Tethys4,1214,1082,6171,0232581,5682,9696,4226,132
Dione5,2165,2033,7802,2179713331,8915,5595,391
Rhea6,3406,3285,0163,5532,2971,1164224,5654,469
Titan7,3677,3556,3695,2924,3213,3712,2761,8323,977
Iapetus8,1048,0937,2586,3595,5234,6983,6811,736360

Moons of Uranus

MirandaArielUmbrielTitaniaOberon
Miranda1151,2151,8892,8343,137
Ariel7203641,3322,2182,533
Umbriel1,4315933381,6291,918
Titania2,1941,3127305141,566
Oberon2,5301,6631,060496483

Synodic Periods and Transit Times for Hohmann Travel

Here are some Synodic Periods and Transit Times for Hohmann Travel tables. Remember that Synodic periods are how often Hohmann launch windows occur. These too were created by Erik Max Francis' Hohmann orbit calculator.

Table Legend

  • In both sections, "y" means "years", "m" means "months", "d" means "days", and "h" means "hours"
  • Synodic periods (i.e., frequency of Hohmann launch windows) are above the diagonal in red
  • Transit times are below the diagonal in blue

Solar System

MercuryVenusEarthMarsVestaJunoEugeniaCeresPallasJupiterSaturnUranusNeptunePluto
Mercury4.7m3.8m3.3m3.1m3.1m3.1m3.0m3.0m2.9m2.9m2.9m2.9m2.9m
Venus2.5m1y, 7.2m11.0m8.9m8.6m8.6m8.5m8.5m7.8m7.5m7.4m7.4m7.4m
Earth3.5m4.8m2y, 1.6m1y, 4.6m1y, 3.6m1y, 3.4m1y, 3.3m1y, 3.3m1y, 1.1m1y, 0.4m1y, 0.1m1y, 0.1m1y, 0.0m
Mars5.6m7.1m8.5m3y, 10.8m3y, 3.7m3y, 2.9m3y, 2.2m3y, 2.1m2y, 2.8m2y, 0.1m1y, 11.1m1y, 10.8m1y, 10.7m
Vesta9.7m11.5m1y, 1.1m1y, 4.2m21y, 8.2m18y, 11.7m17y, 2.4m16y, 11.6m5y, 2.7m4y, 1.6m3y, 9.5m3y, 8.5m3y, 8.2m
Juno11.3m1y, 1.2m1y, 2.9m1y, 6.2m1y, 11.9m151y, 11.1m83y, 1.8m77y, 11.1m6y, 10.6m5y, 1.3m4y, 7.1m4y, 5.7m4y, 5.2m
Eugenia11.6m1y, 1.6m1y, 3.2m1y, 6.5m2y, 0.3m2y, 2.5m183y, 8.3m159y, 11.8m7y, 2.5m5y, 3.4m4y, 8.9m4y, 7.3m4y, 6.8m
Ceres11.9m1y, 1.8m1y, 3.5m1y, 6.8m2y, 0.6m2y, 2.9m2y, 3.3m1239y, 8.2m7y, 6.1m5y, 5.3m4y, 10.4m4y, 8.8m4y, 8.2m
Pallas11.9m1y, 1.9m1y, 3.5m1y, 6.9m2y, 0.7m2y, 2.9m2y, 3.3m2y, 3.6m7y, 6.6m5y, 5.6m4y, 10.6m4y, 9.0m4y, 8.5m
Jupiter2y, 4.0m2y, 6.6m2y, 8.8m3y, 1.0m3y, 8.1m3y, 10.9m3y, 11.3m3y, 11.7m3y, 11.8m19y, 9.6m13y, 9.9m12y, 9.5m12y, 5.7m
Saturn5y, 6.8m5y, 10.2m6y, 1.0m6y, 6.5m7y, 3.6m7y, 7.0m7y, 7.5m7y, 8.0m7y, 8.1m10y, 0.6m45y, 9.8m36y, 2.1m33y, 8.8m
Uranus15y, 3.9m15y, 8.7m16y, 0.6m16y, 8.1m17y, 8.4m18y, 0.9m18y, 1.7m18y, 2.4m18y, 2.5m21y, 3.8m27y, 3.6m171y, 12.0m127y, 11.2m
Neptune29y, 8.2m30y, 2.1m30y, 7.0m31y, 4.3m32y, 7.4m33y, 0.9m33y, 1.9m33y, 2.7m33y, 2.8m36y, 12.0m44y, 1.2m61y, 1.1m499y, 4.3m
Pluto44y, 1.1m44y, 7.8m45y, 1.4m46y, 0.0m47y, 5.1m47y, 11.4m48y, 0.5m48y, 1.4m48y, 1.6m52y, 4.4m60y, 3.6m78y, 11.6m101y, 11.3m

Moons of Mars

PhobosDeimos
Phobos10h
Deimos9h

Moons of Jupiter

MetisAdrasteaAmaltheaIoEuropaGanymedeCallistoHimaliaElara
Metis31d, 21h17h9h8h7h7h7h7h
Adrastea4h18h9h8h7h7h7h7h
Amalthea5h5h17h14h13h12h12h12h
Io11h11h13h3d, 13h2d, 8h1d, 23h1d, 19h1d, 19h
Europa20h20h22h1d, 7h7d, 1h4d, 12h3d, 14h3d, 14h
Ganymede1d, 12h1d, 12h1d, 14h2d, 2h2d, 15h12d, 12h7d, 9h7d, 9h
Callisto3d, 6h3d, 6h3d, 9h3d, 24h4d, 16h5d, 19h17d, 21h17d, 20h
Himalia45d, 2h45d, 2h45d, 9h46d, 19h48d, 6h50d, 16h55d, 16h7050d, 0h
Elara46d, 17h46d, 17h47d, 1h48d, 11h49d, 23h52d, 9h57d, 11h127d, 16h

Moons of Saturn

EpimetheusJanusMimasEnceladusTethysDioneRheaTitanIapetus
Epimetheus1405d, 13h2d, 16h1d, 10h1d, 2h22h20h17h17h
Janus8h2d, 16h1d, 10h1d, 2h22h20h17h17h
Mimas10h10h3d, 1h1d, 21h1d, 11h1d, 5h1d, 0h23h
Enceladus12h12h14h5d, 0h2d, 18h1d, 23h1d, 12h1d, 9h
Tethys15h15h17h19h6d, 2h3d, 6h2d, 3h1d, 22h
Dione19h19h21h1d, 0h1d, 4h6d, 23h3d, 7h2d, 20h
Rhea1d, 4h1d, 4h1d, 6h1d, 10h1d, 13h1d, 19h6d, 7h4d, 19h
Titan3d, 9h3d, 9h3d, 12h3d, 16h3d, 22h4d, 5h4d, 20h19d, 23h
Iapetus14d, 22h14d, 22h15d, 3h15d, 11h15d, 19h16d, 8h17d, 6h21d, 20h

Moons of Uranus

MirandaArielUmbrielTitaniaOberon
Miranda4d, 4h2d, 13h1d, 22h1d, 19h
Ariel1d, 0h6d, 11h3d, 14h3d, 3h
Umbriel1d, 9h1d, 16h7d, 23h6d, 0h
Titania2d, 8h2d, 16h3d, 3h24d, 13h
Oberon3d, 7h3d, 15h4d, 4h5d, 12h