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RendezvousWithVesta 1.0 Released

RendezvousWithVesta is a graphical software tool developed in support to the NASA DAWN mission. It allows to accurately simulate the dynamics of a spacecraft orbiting the asteroid (4) Vesta. The motivations for developing this tool are:

* understand how the physical parameters of Vesta affect the stability of low polar orbits;
* understand how the physical parameters of Vesta and the orbital elements of DAWN affect the coverage of Vesta's surface;
* provide a fast and reliable tool for the generation of orbits suitable for input in the Science Opportunity Analyzer (SOA) tool;

The main features of RendezvousWithVesta are:

* validated numerical algorithms, tested on NEAR mission data, and capable of accurately reproducing NEAR's orbit around Eros;
* complete control over Vesta's physical properties: mass, mass distribution model, shape model, rotation period, and pole ecliptic latitude and longitude;
* control over DAWN's initial orbit around Vesta: epoch, radius, equatorial (Vesta's equator) inclination, phase angle;
* export simulations as SPICE kernel files and as ASCII data files;
* 3D graphical visualization of the numerical simulation, including the ground tracking of DAWN over Vesta's surface;
* 2D plot of the altitude of the spacecraft and of the Vesta profile at nadir;
* completely open source and part of the ORSA framework;
* support for all major platforms: Linux, Mac OS X, Windows;

You can download it from

More info: http://orsa.sourceforge.net/RendezvousWithVesta/

Posted by P. Tricarico 2007-07-02