Giordana Bucchioni

Dipartimento di Matematica, Università di Pisa

Low energy Earth-Moon L2 NRHO Transfers using a Cycler Vehicle

The return to the Moon is programmed for the near future according to the current worldwide space agencies roadmaps. Using a cycler orbit, periodically intercepting a Low Earth Orbit – LEO – and the Moon target Near Rectilinear Halo Orbit – NRHO, may provide several advantages in terms of energy saving in many types of missions (e.g. cargo missions, human missions, refueling missions).

The dynamics of the Circular restricted Three-Body Problem was studied to select different options for the Cycler vehicle orbit among all the possible q:p Earth-Moon Synodic resonant orbits to connect the LEO to the NRHO, in the perspective of saving power during the Earth-Moon route.

Then, two different types of transfers between Cycler orbits and the target NRHO are considered. The first consists of Lambert arcs numerically adjusted in the CR3BP. The second utilizes stable and unstable manifolds of an intermediate L1 Halo orbit.

Comparison is performed in terms of ΔV‘s and times of flight, to analyze the advantages of one technique with respect to the other.

Although Cycler vehicles have been studied in the past, they were limited to a two-body problem setting.

This is a joint work with Tommaso Donatini, Mario Innocenti and Fabio D’Onofrio

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Low energy Earth-Moon L2 NRHO Transfers using a Cycler Vehicle
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