Numerical Method to Calculate Spacecraft Environmental Heating From Celestial Bodies

This talk is about a numerical method to calculate the environmental heating of a spacecraft near a celestial body. This method was applied on MESSENGER, the first spacecraft to orbit Mercury, and helped to protect the spacecraft throughout its life and increase the amount of science data returned for the mission. The technique would be useful also for lunar missions, and for spacecraft that come in close proximity to comets and asteroids, and other scenarios besides those.

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