Interplanetary spacecraft trajectory design is a nontrivial and widely studied problem. Planetary motion never allows for a repeating constellation and the nonlinear nature of gravity prevents simple and intuitive steering strategies to be pursued. The pioneering work made by the young Minovitch [1,2] paved the way to missions such as Voyager and Pioneer by introducing the planetary gravity-assist technique. Later, the manufacturing of electric propulsion engines, remarkably similar to those imagined by Tsiolkowsky and Goddard at the beginning of the past century, enriched considerably the set of possible trajectories to explore the solar system. None of these pioneers, though, could have guessed nor imagined that interplanetary trajectories could be effectively designed by letting an artificial evolutionary process select, generation after generation, the best designs in terms of mission objectives and requirements.
- spacecraft trajectory
- trajectory design
- low-thrust trajectories
Izzo, D., Hennes, D., & Riccardi, A. (2015). Constraint handling and multi-objective methods for the evolution of interplanetary trajectories. Journal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics, 38(4), 792-800. https://doi.org/10.2514/1.G000619