The formation flying of satellites using thrust in along-track direction is explored in the present paper. The system comprising of a leader and a follower satellite is considered and a linear controller is developed to achieve a desired formation. The performance of the proposed controller is tested using numerical simulation of the governing nonlinear system equations of motion considering several factors including variations in initial conditions, formation size, presence of disturbance forces, and orbital eccentricity of the leader satellite. lt is found that the controller using only along-track thrust can provide bounded relative position errors with the maximum control acceleration, in m/s(2), of 0.0718 times the product of square of the orbital rate of the leader satellite and the along-track error. The proposed controller was successful in establishing circular as well as projected circular formations of leader and follower satellites within relative position errors of 10 m. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.