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Keywords:

  • celestial mechanics;
  • eclipses;
  • Earth;
  • Moon

ABSTRACT

Recently, new efforts have been made to explore the lunar environment, with missions aimed at collecting vast amounts of data in view of a future human installation. In this context, several authors have proposed the exploitation of the neighbourhood of the equilibrium point L1 in the Earth–Moon system for various objectives. The purpose of this study is to provide effective criteria that can be applied to choosing a nominal orbit operable to these ends. We consider as key parameters the lunar surface coverage, Earth and Moon eclipses and orbit maintenance costs. By considering sets of periodic and quasi-periodic orbits at various energy levels, we provide parametric analyses that can be used to identify a specific orbit according to mission constraints. In general, a quasi-periodic orbit is preferable to a periodic one, owing to the larger number of parameters that characterize quasi-periodic orbits.