Connecting orbits and invariant manifolds in the spatial restricted three-body
problem
G. Gomez,W.S. Koon, M.W. Lo, J.E. Marsden, J.J. Masdemont and S.D. Ross
Abstract. The invariant manifold structures of the collinear libration points
for the restricted three-body problem provide the framework for understanding
transport phenomena from a geometrical point of view. In particular, the stable
and unstable invariant manifold tubes associated with libration point orbits
are the phase space conduits transporting material between primary bodies for
separate three-body systems. These tubes can be used to construct new
spacecraft trajectories, such as a 'Petit Grand Tour' of the moons of Jupiter.
Previous work focused on the planar circular restricted three-body problem.
This work extends the results to the three-dimensional case.
Besides providing a full description of different kinds of libration motions in
a large vicinity of these points, this paper numerically demonstrates the
existence of heteroclinic connections between pairs of libration orbits, one
around the libration point L1 and the other around L2. Since these connections
are asymptotic orbits, no manoeuvre is needed to perform the transfer from one
libration point orbit to the other. A knowledge of these orbits can be very
useful in the design of missions such as the Genesis Discovery Mission.