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Rendezvous strategies in the vicinity of Earth-Moon Lagrangian points

Abstract : In the context of Human Spaceflight exploration mission scenario, with the Lunar Orbital Platform- Gateway (LOP-G) orbiting about Earth-Moon Lagrangian Point (EML), Rendezvous and Docking (RVD) operational activities are mandatory and critical for the deployment and utilization of the LOP-G (station assembly, crew rotations, cargo delivery, lunar sample return). There is extensive experience with RVD in the two-body problem: in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) to various space stations, or around quasi-circular Low Lunar Orbits (LLO), the latter by Apollo by means of manual RVD. However, the RVD problem in non-Keplerian environments has rarely been addressed and no RVD has been performed to this date in the vicinity of Lagrangian points (LP) where Keplerian dynamics are no longer applicable. Dynamics in such regions are more complex, but multi-body dynamics also come with strong advantages that need to be further researched by the work proposed here. The aim of this paper is to present methods and results of investigations conducted to first set up strategies for far and close rendezvous between a target (the LOP-G, for example) and a chaser (cargo, crew vehicle, ascent and descent vehicle, station modules, etc.) depending on target and chaser orbit. Semi-analytical tools have been developed to compute and model families of orbits about the Lagrangian points in the Circular Restricted Three Body Problem (CR3BP) like NRHO, DRO, Lyapunov, Halo and Lissajous orbits. As far as close rendezvous is concerned, implementation of different linear and non-linear models used to describe cis-lunar relative motion will be discussed and compared, in particular for NRHO and DRO.
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Stéphanie Lizy-Destrez, Laurent Beauregard, Emmanuel Blazquez, Antonino Campolo, Sara Manglativi, et al.. Rendezvous strategies in the vicinity of Earth-Moon Lagrangian points. Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences, Frontiers Media, 2019, 5, pp.45. ⟨10.3389/fspas.2018.00045⟩. ⟨hal-02005828⟩



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