Low-energy capture of asteroids onto KAM tori

Patricia Verrier, Colin McInnes

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We present a new method for engineering the artificial capture of asteroids. Based on theories of the chaos-assisted capture of natural satellites of the giant planets, we show how an unbound asteroid that passes close to a regular region of phase space can be easily moved onto the nearby KAM tori and essentially permanently captured with the Earth's Hill sphere without closing the zero velocity curves. The method has the advantages of a relatively low delta-v requirement and no need for control strategies. An illustration of the method is given for an example asteroid trajectory, demonstrating that it is a viable strategy for the final capture stage of asteroids in the Earth's neighbourhood.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-334
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics
Issue number2
Early online date12 Dec 2014
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2015



  • near Earth asteroids
  • asteroid capture
  • restricted three body problem
  • trajectory planning

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