Medium-energy, retrograde, ballistic transfer to the moon

Kenta Oshima, Francesco Topputo, Stefano Campagnola, Tomohiro Yanao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Citations (Scopus)


This study analyzes a recently discovered new class of exterior transfers to the Moon under the perspective of lunar collision orbit dynamics. These transfers typically end with a retrograde ballistic capture, i.e., with negative Keplerian energy and angular momentum with respect to the Moon. Yet their Jacobi constant is relatively low, at which no forbidden regions exist, and the transfers do not appear to mimic the dynamics of the invariant manifolds of the Lagrange points. This paper shows that these orbits shadow instead lunar collision orbits. We investigate the dynamics of singular, lunar collision orbits in the Earth-Moon planar circular restricted three-body problem, and reveal their rich phase space structure in the medium-energy regime, for which invariant manifolds of the Lagrange point orbits break up. We show that lunar retrograde ballistic capture trajectories lie inside the tube structure of collision orbits. We also develop a method to compute medium-energy transfers by patching together the orbits inside the collision tube and those whose apogees are located in the appropriate quadrant in the Sun-Earth system. The method is used to systematically reproduce the novel retrograde ballistic capture.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpaceflight Mechanics 2016
EditorsMartin T. Ozimek, Renato Zanetti, Angela L. Bowes, Ryan P. Russell, Martin T. Ozimek
PublisherUnivelt Inc.
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9780877036333
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event26th AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting, 2016 - Napa, United States
Duration: 2016 Feb 142016 Feb 18

Publication series

NameAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences
ISSN (Print)0065-3438


Other26th AAS/AIAA Space Flight Mechanics Meeting, 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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