Strategies to find orbits around the triple asteroid 2001SN263
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The purpose of this study is to search for natural trajectories that can be used by a spacecraft to observe the triple asteroid 2001SN263 from a mid-range distance, such that there is no risk of collision. These are important initial parking orbits, because the system is not known in details. The triple asteroid is considered to be a single ellipsoid body, which gives a simple mathematical model that allows on-board computation of trajectories. It is assumed that this single elongated body has a mass equal to the sum of the masses of the three bodies and its dimensions are calculated considering the size of the orbit of Beta and the size of Alpha. The objective is to search for orbits that can be used at the arrival time of the spacecraft in the vicinity of the triple asteroid to observe the bodies to make a better evaluation of their dimensions and dynamics before a good choice for a final orbit can be made. The two-dimensional elliptic restricted three-body problem is used as the mathematical model with the addition of the perturbations coming from the asteroid and Sun irregular gravity fields (J2). It is also considered the disturbance caused by the solar radiation pressure, a major force near asteroids.