Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Olsen, D. Carrie

Committee Member

Olsen, D. Gregory

Committee Member

Xin, Ming

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Aerospace Engineering

Degree Name

Master of Science


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Aerospace Engineering


Analysis was done to determine fuel optimal translunar trajectories from Earth geostationary transfer orbit to a specified target lunar orbit for a small satellite navigation and communication mission. The study included the optimization of impulsive and finite burn transfers. The inclusion of finite burns was necessary due to the low thrust nature of a small satellite propulsion system. Finite burn optimization was achieved using suboptimal parameterization control theory. The orbital parameters of the initial Earth orbit as well as the target lunar orbit were varied to see how this affected the optimal transfer results. Additionally, two engine thrust levels were explored to find the impact on the fuel mass required. All optimization analyses were completed using Copernicus, a trajectory optimization software package developed at the University of Texas at Austin for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).