Solar Sail Transfers and Trajectory Design to Sun-Earth L4, L5: Solar Observations and Potential Earth Trojan Exploration

  • Rohan SoodEmail author
  • Kathleen Howell


The Sun-Earth triangular Lagrange point, L5, offers an ideal location to monitor the space weather. Furthermore, L4, L5 may harbor Earth ‘Trojan’ asteroids and space dust that are of significant interest to the scientific community. No spacecraft has, thus far, entered an orbit in the vicinity of Sun-Earth triangular points in part because of high propellant costs. By incorporating solar sail dynamics in the model representing CR3BP, the concept of a mission to L4, L5 can be re-evaluated and the total ΔV can be reconsidered. A solar sail is employed to increase the energy of the spacecraft and deliver the spacecraft to an orbit about an artificial Lagrange point by leveraging solar radiation pressure and, potentially, without any insertion ΔV.


Multi-body dynamics Solar sail Sun-Earth triangular Lagrange points Solar radiation pressure Solar observations Earth Trojan asteroids 



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© American Astronautical Society 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Aerospace Engineering and MechanicsThe University of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA
  2. 2.School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Purdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

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