Lunar Prospector Trajectory

This NASA diagram shows Prospector's flight path to the Moon. The spacecraft circled the Earth before achieving injection over Australia. There was at least two mid-course corrections before reaching the Moon. Prospector was inserted into an initial large elliptical orbit around the Moon andwent through an interim orbit before achieving its final circular mapping orbit. This method of gradual orbit insertion assured the fuel efficiency vital to Prospector's low-cost design.

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Author: Tugrul Sezen
sezen@nas.nasa.gov

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