Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering


Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics

First Advisor

Joshua Hess, PhD


Space missions to the Moon have received renewed interest in recent decades. Science missions continue to be sent to the Moon, and several space agencies have aspirations of establishing a human presence on the Moon. With the increased number of artificial objects in cislunar space, the problem of tracking these objects arises. Optical sensors are able to track these objects in deep space. However, optical sensors cannot track objects that are close to the Sun as viewed from the observer. This unobservable region is the Sun-exclusion zone (SEZ). This research attempts to create optimal Moon-Earth transfers which are completely in the SEZ using a genetic algorithm-direct method hybridization. Such transfers demonstrate how much the SEZ can limit optical sensors from maintaining custody of a satellite. Transfers from L1 and L2 Lyapunov orbits to geosynchronous orbit are generated while optimizing fuel and time of flight. Remaining inside of the SEZ is shown to significantly increase the fuel required to make the transfer.

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