A Trip to the Moon

Mathematical Conversations
Topic:A Trip to the Moon
Speaker:Marian Gidea
Affiliation:Northeastern Illinois University; Member, School of Mathematics
Date:Wednesday, March 20
Time/Room:6:00pm - 7:30pm/Dilworth Room

Chaos Theory has been applied to find low energy spacecraft trajectories beginning with the successful Japanese lunar mission Hiten in 1991. The orbit design of this mission was based on the empirical concept of a `weak stability boundary’, due to Belbruno. Another method to design low energy trajectories is based on hyperbolic invariant manifolds. We will argue that, in the case of the Earth-Moon system, the two methods essentially coincide.