Halo orbit determination in the mission analysis of the Hevelius-lunar microsatellite mission

Matteo Ceriotti, Camilla Colombo, Ettore Scarì, Massimiliano Vasile

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This paper introduces the mission analysis and design of the Hevelius - Lunar Microsatellite Mission. The objective of the mission is to place at least three landers on the dark side of the Moon, to perform some scientific experiments. A microsatellite orbiter is required to support the net lander as data-relay to the Earth. Moreover, another spacecraft, a carrier, has been designed in order to bring landers to the surface of the Moon, to map the landing site and to measure the gravitational field. The Hevelius mission analysis has been driven by the need to design lowcost and low-mass space missions. Since the relay satellite must continuously see the dark side of the Moon, an operative Halo orbit around the second Lagrangian point has been designed. Three different ways have been followed to determine the optimal Halo orbit. Optimal low-cost transfers to the Halo have been designed exploiting the invariant manifolds of the Earth-Moon L1 point while a Belbruno's WSB transfer to a frozen orbit around the Moon has been chosen for the carrier. The mission analysis process has been completed with a perturbations and eclipses analysis of the final operative orbits.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 17 Oct 2005
Event56th International Astronautical Congress - Fukuoka, Japan
Duration: 17 Oct 200521 Oct 2005


Conference56th International Astronautical Congress
CityFukuoka, Japan


  • hevelius–lunar microsatellite mission
  • microsatellite orbiter
  • gravitational field
  • halo orbit
  • lagrangian point
  • perturbations
  • eclipses analysis.


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