Could using the gravity of another celestial body allow for something like a bi-elliptic transfer
that uses less delta-v than the theoretical "infinite apogee" delta-v requirement?

If yes, has such a transfer ever actually been performed?

  • $\begingroup$ Do you mean a secondary celestial body in addition to the primary? $\endgroup$ – Jerard Puckett Mar 7 '14 at 1:17
  • $\begingroup$ Yes. ${}{}{}\;$ $\endgroup$ – user2822 Mar 7 '14 at 1:24

Do you mean like this? In that case, a geosynchronous satellite stranded in a 51° inclination orbit used a very high apogee transfer with two lunar flybys at the high apogee to remove 40° of that inclination.

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  • $\begingroup$ It would be like that. $\;$ $\endgroup$ – user2822 Mar 7 '14 at 3:47

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