The three-body problem and low energy space missions

Friday, October 7, 2022 - 11:00am for 1 hour (actually 50 minutes)
Marian Gidea – YU – marian.gidea@yu.edu
Jorge Gonzalez

The three-body problem, on the dynamics of three masses under mutual gravity, serves as a model for the motion of a spacecraft relative to the Earth-Moon or Sun-Earth system. We describe the equations of motion for the three-body problem and the geometric objects that organize the dynamics: equilibriums points, periodic and quasi-periodic orbits, and their stable and unstable manifolds. As it turns out, trajectories that follow these manifolds require zero energy cost. We describe several methods to design low energy spacecraft trajectories from Earth to Moon, as well as maneuvers to change the inclination of the orbit of a satellite relative to the ecliptic. This is based on joint works with E. Belbruno, F. Topputo, A. Delshams, and P. Roldan.