Effects of the eccentricity on the primaries in the gravitational capture phenomenon

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Neto, E. V.
Prado, AFBD

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Univelt Inc


Gravitational capture is a characteristic of some dynamical systems in celestial mechanics, as in the elliptic restricted three-body problem that is considered in this paper. The basic idea is that a spacecraft (or any particle with negligible mass) can change a hyperbolic orbit with a small positive energy around a celestial body into an elliptic orbit with a small negative energy without the use of any propulsive system. The force responsible for this modification in the orbit of the spacecraft is the gravitational force of the third body involved in the dynamics. In this way, this force is used as a zero cost control, equivalent to a continuous thrust applied in the spacecraft. One of the most important applications of this property is the construction of trajectories to the Moon. The objective of the present paper is to study in some detail the effects of the eccentricity of the primaries in this maneuver.



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Malcolm D. Shuster Astronautics Symposium. San Diego: Univelt Inc., v. 122, p. 429-446, 2006.