Energy-saving capture at Mars via backward stable orbits

Li, Xiangyu and Qiao, Dong and Macdonald, Malcolm (2019) Energy-saving capture at Mars via backward stable orbits. Journal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics, 42 (5). ISSN 1533-3884 (

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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.