Constructing a Low Energy Transfer Between Jovian Moons
Koon, WS; Lo, MW; Marsden, JE; Ross, SD;
Wang Sang Koon Martin Lo Jerrold Marsden Shane Ross
292, pp. 129-145, 2002

There has recently been considerable interest in sending a spacecraft to orbit Europa, the smallest of the four Galilean moons of Jupiter. The trajectory design involved in ecting a capture by Europa presents formidable challenges to traditional conic analysis since the regimes of motion involved depend heavily on three-body dynamics. New three-body perspectives are required to design successful and earthcient missions which take full advantage of the natural dynamics. Not only does a three-body approach provide low-fuel trajectories, but it also increases the exibility and versatility of missions. We apply this approach to design a new mission concept wherein a spacecraft "leap-frogs" between moons, orbiting each for a desired duration in a temporary capture orbit. We call this concept the "Petit Grand Tour." For this application, we apply dynamical systems techniques developed in a previous paper to design a Europa capture orbit. We show how it is possible, using a gravitional boost from Ganymede, to go from a jovicentric orbit beyond the orbit of Ganymede to a ballistic capture orbit around Europa. The main new technical result is the employment of dynamical channels in the phase space -- tubes in the energy surface which naturally link the vicinity of Ganymede to the vicinity of Europa. The transfer Delta-V necessary to jump from one moon to another is less than half that required by a standard Hohmann transfer.

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