Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Hudson

Second Advisor

Dr. Kapseong Ro

Third Advisor

Dr. Richard Meyer


Space flight dynamics, trajectory design, long- period comets, staging orbits, multi-objective optimization

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Objects that have retained pieces of information about the early Solar System are key to our understanding of its formation and evolutionary history. However, the high delta-V required to reach these objects, such as long-period comets or interstellar objects, makes designing an intercept mission at the time of detection impractical. In this thesis, multiple heliocentric staging orbits are explored to serve as departure positions for future missions, prior to objects’ detections. By utilizing more than one staging orbit concurrently, the set of objects that are reachable is expanded, therefore increasing mission feasibility. Delta-V maps are generated and superimposed; two-impulse burn trajectories are simulated and compared between the different staging orbits; strategic astronomical observation patterns are suggested; multi-objective optimization is performed for trade studies.