Michael Minovitch

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Michael A. Minovitch
Nationality American
Fields Mathematics
Alma mater California
UCLA
Doctoral advisor Shoshichi Kobayashi
Known for Planetary Grand Tour

Michael Andrew Minovitch is an American mathematician who showed that spacecraft trajectories could be designed such that they could gain velocity by travelling close to a planet orbiting the sun.[1] This gravity assist technique was developed in the early 1960s when he was a UCLA graduate student working summers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.[2][3]

Early studies of comets in the late 19th century showed that their orbits were quite different after they had made a close approach to Jupiter. This indicated that a transfer of energy had occurred during the encounter, but it was not until Minovitch's work that it was shown to be useful in planning an interplanetary voyage.

The first mission to use this technique was the Mariner 10 trip to Venus and Mercury in 1973.

Inventions[edit]

Michael patented a vehicle for space travel under the patent title Magnetic propulsion system and operating method, US Patent 6193194 B1.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wolverton, Mark (2004). The Depths of Space: The Story of the Pioneer Planetary Probes. Joseph Henry Press. ISBN 0309090504. 
  2. ^ Minovitch, Michael (July 11, 1961). An Alternative Method for Determination of Elliptic and Hyperbolic Trajectories. Jet Propulsion Laboratory Technical Memos (TM-312-118). 
  3. ^ Minovitch, Michael (August 23, 1961). A Method For Determining Interplanetary Free-Fall Reconnaissance Trajectories. Jet Propulsion Laboratory Technical Memos (TM-312-130). pp. 38–44. 

External links[edit]