Earth-Mars transfers with ballistic escape and low-thrust capture

Giorgio Mingotti, Francesco Topputo, Franco Bernelli-Zazzara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper novel Earth–Mars transfers are presented. These transfers exploit
the natural dynamics of n-body models as well as the high specific impulse typical of low-thrust systems. The Moon-perturbed version of the Sun–Earth problem is introduced to design ballistic escape orbits performing lunar gravity assists. The ballistic capture is designed in the Sun–Mars system where special attainable sets are defined and used to handle the low-thrust control. The complete trajectory is optimized in the full n-body problem which takes
into account planets’ orbital inclinations and eccentricities. Accurate, efficient solutions with reasonable flight times are presented and compared with known results.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-188
JournalCelestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2011


  • restricted three-body problem
  • invariant manifolds
  • low-thrust transfers
  • n-body models
  • ballistic capture
  • lunar-gravity assist


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