Spacecraft planetary capture using gravity assist manoeuvres

M. Macdonald, C.R. McInnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)
349 Downloads (Pure)


If the arrival speed at a target body can be increased from the very low hyperbolic excesses required to perform a low-thrust capture maneuver, then potentially significant savings can be made in the heliocentric mission duration if a bound orbit about the target planet can be maintained. We define a bound orbit as having an apoapsis that is positive but less than infinity; however, because this is not a practical limit and is instead a theoretical limit we examine the impact of reducing the target apoapsis to more realistic and useful values within specific case studies. Furthermore, an increase in arrival velocity can be expected to yield a benefit in mission launch mass.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-369
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • spacecraft
  • planets
  • space travel
  • guidance systems
  • gravity


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