Efficient design of direct low-energy transfers in multi-moon systems

Elena Fantino, Roberto Castelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


In this contribution, an efficient technique to design direct (i.e., without intermediate flybys) low-energy trajectories in multi-moon systems is presented. The method relies on analytical two-body approximations of trajectories originating from the stable and unstable invariant manifolds of two coupled circular restricted three-body problems. We provide a means to perform very fast and accurate computations of the minimum-cost trajectories between two moons. Eventually, we validate the methodology by comparison with numerical integrations in the three-body problem. Motivated by the growing interest in the robotic exploration of the Jovian system, which has given rise to numerous studies and mission proposals, we apply the method to the design of minimum-cost low-energy direct trajectories between Galilean moons, and the case study is that of Ganymede and Europa.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)429-450
Number of pages22
JournalCelestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • Circular restricted three-body problem
  • Galilean moons
  • Low-energy transfers
  • Restricted two-body problem
  • Spacecraft trajectories


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