The problem of optimally designing a trajectory for a space mission is considered in this paper. Actual mission design is a complex, multi-disciplinary and multi-objective activity with relevant economic implications. In this paper we will consider some simplified models proposed by the European Space Agency as test problems for global optimization. We show that many trajectory optimization problems can be quite efficiently solved by means of relatively simple global optimization techniques relying on standard methods for local optimization. We show in this paper that our approach has been able to find trajectories which in many cases outperform those already known. We also conjecture that this problem displays a ``funnel structure'' similar, in some sense, to that of molecular optimization problems.