Mars interplanetary trajectory design via Lagrangian points

Roshan Thomas Eapen, Ram Krishan Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


With the increase in complexities of interplanetary missions, the main focus has shifted to reducing the total delta-V for the entire mission and hence increasing the payload capacity of the spacecraft. This paper develops a trajectory to Mars using the Lagrangian points of the Sun-Earth system and the Sun-Mars system. The whole trajectory can be broadly divided into three stages: (1) Trajectory from a near-Earth circular parking orbit to a halo orbit around Sun-Earth Lagrangian point L2. (2) Trajectory from Sun-Earth L2 halo orbit to Sun-Mars L1 halo orbit. (3) Sun-Mars L1 halo orbit to a circular orbit around Mars. The stable and unstable manifolds of the halo orbits are used for halo orbit insertion. The intermediate transfer arcs are designed using two-body Lambert's problem. The total delta-V for the whole trajectory is computed and found to be lesser than that for the conventional trajectories. For a 480 km Earth parking orbit, the total delta-V is found to be 4.6203 km/s. Another advantage in the present approach is that delta-V does not depend upon the synodic period of Earth with respect to Mars.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-71
Number of pages7
JournalAstrophysics and Space Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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