Earth--Mars Transfers with Ballistic Capture

Research paper by Francesco Topputo, Edward Belbruno

Indexed on: 27 Oct '14Published on: 27 Oct '14Published in: arXiv - Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics


We construct a new type of transfer from the Earth to Mars, which ends in ballistic capture. This results in a substantial savings in capture $\Delta v$ from that of a classical Hohmann transfer under certain conditions. This is accomplished by first becoming captured at Mars, very distant from the planet, and then from there, following a ballistic capture transfer to a desired altitude within a ballistic capture set. This is achieved by manipulating the stable sets, or sets of initial conditions whose orbits satisfy a simple definition of stability. This transfer type may be of interest for Mars missions because of lower capture $\Delta v$, moderate flight time, and flexibility of launch period from the Earth.