Hybrid propulsion transfers to the Moon

Giorgio Mingotti, Francesco Topputo, Franco Bernelli-Zazzara

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

2 Citations (Scopus)


This work analyzes special Earth–Moon transfers that make use of both chemical
and solar electric propulsion. A first high-thrust, low-Isp impulse is used to place the spacecraft into an exterior-like low-energy transfer to the Moon, possibly performing a lunar gravity assist. The subsequent use of low-thrust, high-Isp propulsion makes it possible to perform a lunar ballistic capture leading to a final, low-altitude orbit about the Moon. Hybrid propulsion transfers outperform both the chemical transfers (Hohmann, interior, and exterior) and the fully solar electric propulsion transfers (e.g., SMART-1-like) in terms of propellant consumption, although an assessment of these transfers at system level is still missing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in the Astronautical Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 19 Mar 2012
Event1st IAA Conference on Dynamics and Control of Space Systems - Porto, Portugal
Duration: 19 Mar 201221 Mar 2012

Publication series

NameAdvances in Astronautical Sciences
PublisherUnivelt Inc
ISSN (Print)1081-6003


Conference1st IAA Conference on Dynamics and Control of Space Systems


  • hybrid propulsion
  • earth-moon transfers
  • low energy
  • capture


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