Team, Visitors, External Collaborators
Overall Objectives
Research Program
Application Domains
Highlights of the Year
New Software and Platforms
New Results
Bilateral Contracts and Grants with Industry
Partnerships and Cooperations
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Section: New Results

Long-term evolution of quasi-satellite orbits

Participants : Lamberto Dell'Elce, Nicola Baresi [Univ. of Surrey, UK] , Josué Cardoso Dos Santos [Sao Paulo State Univ., Brazil] , Yasuhiro Kawakatsu [JAXA, Japan] .

The Martian Moons eXploration mission is currently under development at the Japan space agency (JAXA) and will be the first spacecraft mission to retrieve pristine samples from the surface of Phobos. In preparation for the sampling operations, MMX will collect observations of Phobos from stable retrograde relative trajectories, which are referred to as quasi-satellite orbits (QSOs). This study, started in 2018 in collaboration with JAXA, investigates the navigability of mid- and high-altitude QSOs in terms of relative orbit element. Our developments are based on the Yamanaka-Ankersen solution of the Tschauner-Hempel equations and capture the effects of the secondary's gravity and orbital eccentricity on the shape and orientation of near-equatorial retrograde relative orbits. The analytic solution that we obtained by averaging the equations of motion with respect to the longitude of the satellite is suitable to gain insight into the long-term evolution of QSOs. These results were recently published in [38].