Special Issue "Planetary Exploration"

A special issue of Aerospace (ISSN 2226-4310). This special issue belongs to the section "Astronautics & Space Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2024 | Viewed by 208

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Roy Lichtenheldt
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of System Dynamics and Control, German Aerospace Center (DLR), Münchener Straße 20, 82234 Weßling, Germany
Interests: planetary exploration; space exploration; Mars missions; rover; robotics; drilling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Exploring foreign planetary bodies has long been a dream for humanity. At this juncture, numerous missions have visited several planetary bodies far from our own. Nevertheless, more blank spots remain on our maps than discovered areas. Robotics is a key driver in advancing the exploration of space. Even though the technological challenges involved in such efforts are often high, overcoming them could allow robotic explorers to visit areas that are currently inaccessible to humans due to either reach or cost. The current goals of planetary exploration include “classics”, such as reaching Mars or the Moon, but also smaller objectives related to bodies like comets and asteroids could enhance our understanding of their evolution. While orbital and surface missions have been long-time focuses, the subsurface is of growing interest. For example, measurements inside of the regolith might give answers on planetary evolution, while astrobiology is highly interested in the existence of traces of life, which might either be found buried in the ground or in caves, e.g., on Mars. These new frontiers pose especially demanding challenges to the systems and their development.

This Special Issue is thus focused on the following topics:

  • Robotics systems to enable future planetary exploration;
  • Mission concepts to reach places, unreachable so far;
  • Subsurface exploration and drilling;
  • Exploration of extreme environments and extreme terrain;
  • Innovative mobility systems for special requirements;
  • Efficient long-range locomotion principles;
  • ISRU applications and robotic preparation of future human missions;
  • Simulation strategies to allow for faster development times of exploration systems.

These are considered to be future hot topics of planetary exploration. All technologies and concepts described in the contributions should be able to be “flight-ready” by at least 2035 in order to provide realistic outlooks on future technologies.

Dr. Roy Lichtenheldt
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Aerospace is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • planetary exploration
  • rover
  • terramechanics
  • in situ exploration
  • orbital observations
  • robotics
  • subsurface
  • drilling

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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