Simulating Spacecraft Journeys


There is currently a renewed focus on travel in space, evidenced by very recent Mars landings, and flights to the space station. This project will use the UE4 engine to simulate the flight of a spacecraft in a restricted part of the Solar System, e.g., Earth-Mars or Earth-Moon. It will extend a previous Computing Project where the Solar System was simulated without a spacecraft.

The project could take many forms; you could simulate launch from the Earth into orbit around the Moon or Mars, or you could focus on the descent and landing phase of a vehicle. This could be done using an autonomous controller, though you may like to give it a more game feel with a human in the driving seat. The maths behind the model is known as the "restricted three-body" problem.

Primary data will be the trajectories of the spacecraft motion, and the planets positions. This could be validated against real-world NASA data.

Colin Price
solar system
Research Question
Proposed Primary Research