Halley's comet's next perihelion will happen around mid 2061.

Considering, that its orbit is retrograde (viewable here), is it possible to build a flyby trajectory by means of gravitational maneuvers around the planets and moons?

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    $\begingroup$ Flybys (not rendezvous) from the last visit: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halley_Armada $\endgroup$ Oct 3, 2019 at 15:06
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    $\begingroup$ There's some info on where Haley's comet is now in this answer. Telescopes have gotten so big now that it can always be imaged! $\endgroup$
    – uhoh
    Oct 3, 2019 at 15:42
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    $\begingroup$ Two flyby rules of thumb: 1. If you can reach Jupiter, you can go anywhere. 2. Add together the orbital period of the planets you plan on using to see if it's feasible. Earth + Venus + Jupiter fits with a very roomy margin, and should give a vast space of opportunities. You can even fit two Jupiter flybys in there. $\endgroup$ Oct 3, 2019 at 17:23
  • $\begingroup$ If Halley's orbit and Jupiters don't come close to intersecting (basically if Halley's does not cross the ecliptic somewhere near Jupiter's distance from the Sun) things get a lot harder. $\endgroup$ Oct 3, 2019 at 22:52
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    $\begingroup$ @Paul it comes from that the fact that these trajectories takes years to execute, roughly proportional to the orbital periods of the objects involved. It's further cemented by the the proper alignments also arriving at similar time spans. $\endgroup$ Oct 4, 2019 at 0:38

1 Answer 1


Yes, based upon what was done for the last time Halley's comet came by.


Fifteen burns of Suisei's 3 N motors during the period of April 5–10, 1987, yielded a 65 m/s velocity increase for a 60,000 km Earth gravity assist swingby on August 20, 1992, helped it establish a Heliocentric orbit around the sun.

Also see Halley Armada https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halley_Armada

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. But this is not an answer unfortunately $\endgroup$
    – Leeloo
    Oct 17, 2019 at 20:19
  • $\begingroup$ @Leeloo: Since Halley crosses Earth's orbit, it is fairly easy to do a flyby, but the relative velocity will be quite high because it's retrograde. If you want to match velocity, then it's difficult, and may or may not be feasible. $\endgroup$
    – Bit Chaser
    Oct 18, 2019 at 17:28
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    $\begingroup$ @Leeloo: How is this not an answer? The answer states: "This has done before, so we can do it again." Pretty clear to me. $\endgroup$ Nov 16, 2019 at 21:13

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