I'm in is conducting a study outlining my plan (using only currently-existing technology, and is based only on reputable science, no flaky stuff) to replace fossil fuels without evoking ideological contention.
Right now my friends and I are making a video exploring the possibility of mining Saturn's atmosphere for Helium-3. That project isn't what my questions are about, so let's not discuss that here. If you'd like to, we could discuss that in a more appropriate forum - I just wanted to give some context.
I have several questions to ask and I need more or less unambiguous answers. However, I realize many answers will have to be approximations, given the varying distances between the various celestial bodies over time. It would be great to get some consensus on here, as I'd like to be as accurate as possible. I really don't want to be a burden on anyone, so if you may point me in the direction of credible science (or a simulator workable within a browser, speculatively) that could explain why the answers are what they are, I would be much obliged. I appreciate any answers you may put forward. If you could cite some relevant scientific documentation readily accessible online, I would appreciate that a lot too.
Here are some of my questions. I am dividing them into sections. If you know how to answer these questions but do not want to take the time to do so, it would be great if you could please tell me how to find the answers out for myself, or, in the case of the more mathematical questions, which equations and figures I need to utilize. Thanks you.
Could it be possible to create an Earth-Saturn cycler, a spacecraft that would complete its trajectories in whole-number multiples of the synodic period between Earth and Saturn? Note: this is derived from the hypothetical but already possible with extant technology Earth-Mars cycler. We needn't bother discussing the toll the long haul would take on human travelers in the cycler, as I only need this to be unmanned. (if not, tell me why)
How long (a range of distance) would it take such an Earth-Saturn cycler to get from Earth to Saturn and vice-versa? (This assumes the answer to the previous question is "yes," so you don't need to answer it if you answered "no" to the first)
What will the range of distance between Earth & Saturn be over the next 150 years?
DISTANCE & TIME RANGE for different PROPULSION METHODS on MANNED MISSION that invokes SATURNIAN ORBIT INSERTION for two months
How much time would it take a large-ish manned vessel to get to Saturn with modern-day propulsion?
How long would it take with VASIMR?
- Is VASIMR a serious investment, and is there any likelihood that it will work?
Is it possible for the manned mission and/or the unmanned cycler to use a gravity-assist maneuver with Venus, the Sun?
Would it be desirable to do so to conserve fuel and speed the mission up? (I am only concerned that it would take a lot of fuel to slow the vessel down when it needs to enter Saturnian orbit)
How exactly would this affect the length of either mission, assuming the mission(s) use only extant propulsion methods?
How exactly would this affect the length of either mission, assuming the mission(s) use VASIMR?
Happy holidays, everybody!
(and please no speculative answers, either answer with links or knowledgeable explanation) <3