Decelerating Lunar Gravity Assists To Return From BEO

03/27/11 00:00:00    

By Michael Mealling

So I asked this one twitter a few minutes ago:

bq. so why can't you use decelerating lunar gravity assists to go from BEO trajectories into circular LEO orbits? Why do we need aerobraking?

There are many references to using gravity assists to decelerate spacecraft. I've found one reference to using it to enter into a circular earth orbit using the moon at Mark Prado's PERMANENT site. I guess I'm still thinking there has to be a solution to Rand's Decoupling problem that doesn't require aerobraking.

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