Energy-saving capture at Mars via backward stable orbits

Xiangyu Li, Dong Qiao, Malcolm Macdonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads (Pure)


The orbit capture, which transfers the spacecraft from the interplanetary trajectory to the target orbit about a celestial body, is a key event in an exploration mission. A low-energy capture strategy, termed ballistic capture, has been developed and applied to lunar transfer, such as Hiten [1] and GRAIL [2]. Such capture exploits the gravitational force of the multi-body system to change the orbit energy of the spacecraft with respect to the target planet from positive to negative.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics
Issue number5
Early online date19 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • Mars
  • spacecraft
  • interplanetary trajectory design
  • low energy capture strategy


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