Possible principles of a moving mass control of the orbital parameters of an artificial satellite are discussed in the present paper. The satellite is assumed to have a dumbbell shape such that both massive parts can spin and change their relative distance upon the orbital angle according to the suggested control strategy. The latter aims at maintaining a desired satellite size and orientation with respect to the orbital radius in order to take advantage of the variations in the gravitational field along the elliptical orbit. The eccentricity of the orbit along with the energy and angular momentum of the satellite can be shown to gradually vary in an adiabatic way. In particular, the results demonstrate that the parameter of total orbital energy can follow a prescribed temporal profile by controlling the satellite orientation on the orbit to accurately track its desired target. The results from both analytical estimates and numerical integration appear to be in sufficient agreement.