Tether orientation control for lunar elevator
This study focuses on spatial motion of the lunar elevator which is studied in the framework of elliptical restricted three-body problem. Analysis of dynamics of a spacecraft anchored to the Moon by a tether is done assuming that the tether’s length can be changed according to a prescribed law. The goal is to find the control laws that allow one to compensate for the eccentricity of the orbits, i.e., to maintain the pendulum at a fixed angle with respect to the Earth–Moon direction. The results have shown that the fixed orientation of the tether can be kept for several configurations of the system; some of these configurations are found to be stable. The obtained results can be applied to study the properties and possible configurations of the lunar elevator, as well as applications for small planets and asteroids.