Earth-Mars transfers through Moon distant retrograde orbits

Davide Conte, Marilena Di Carlo, Koki Ho, David B. Spencer, Massimiliano Vasile

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This paper focuses on trajectory design which is relevant for missions that would follow NASA’s Asteroid Redirect Mission (ARM) to further explore and utilise asteroids and eventually human Mars exploration. Assuming that a refueling gas station is present at a given Lunar Distant Retrograde Orbit (DRO), we analyse ways of departing from the Earth to Mars via that DRO. Thus, the analysis and results presented in this paper add a new cis-lunar departure orbit for Earth-Mars missions. Porkchop plots depicting the required C3 at launch, v1 at arrival, Time of Flight (TOF), and total ∆V for various DRO departure and Mars arrival dates are created and compared with results obtained for low ∆V LEO to Mars trajectories. The results show that low ∆V DRO to Mars transfers generally have lower ∆V and TOF than LEO to Mars maneuvers.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2015
EventAAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference 2015 - Colorado, Vail, United States
Duration: 9 Aug 201513 Aug 2015


ConferenceAAS/AIAA Astrodynamics Specialist Conference 2015
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • trajectory design
  • retrograde orbits
  • asteroid redirect mission (ARM)
  • Mars exploration


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