Optimal lunar launch trajectories to the Sun-Earth L1 vicinity

Keith Jackson, Victoria L. Coverstone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The sun/Earth-moon L1 point is agrowing target for space missions. This paper assumes a needto place an object directly between the Earth and the sun. Possible purposes for such a mission include a type of shield to intercept some portion of the sun's rays, or conversely a lens or mirror to focus them. In addition, this paper requires a launch directly from the moon instead of a traditional orbit-to-orbit transfer. A detailed case using accurate positional and velocity data for all planetary bodies isused in this paper. Instead of focusing solelyon trajectories defined as optimal by minimum fuel consumption, we looked for trajectories with low sensitivity to initial conditions to additionally minimize the frequency and magnitude of course corrections. We first analyzed the reverse problem to identify solution areas of low sensitivity to launch conditions. Using the determined restricted solution space, we were successfully able to determine a launch site on the moon that could reach L1 with the greatest number of low-cost trajectories and launch windows within the resolution of the solution space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)712-719
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Applied Mathematics


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