# How exactly did Jupiter change Ulysses orbital plane from nearly ecliptic to polar?

Ulysses spacecraft trajectory is truly amazing. Utilizing gravity assist from Jupiter it was sent into polar orbit around the Sun.

I can understand gravity assist concept, I can also (intuitively) understand bending of a spacecraft's trajectory within same orbiting plane due to astronomical body gravity. But changing the orbiting plane nearly orthogonally by flying around a planet is beyond the level of my intuitive understanding.

Can someone explain in simple terms how does this orbital sorcery work? What exactly forces a spacecraft to change the inclination of the orbiting plane?

Also is it working specifically due to Jupiter's huge gravity (I mean if Jupiter's gravity was similar to Earth's gravity, could have it done the same job?); or, for example, could a spacecraft sent to the Moon do the same trick of changing its orbital plane inclination (with the Moon gravity assist) by nearly 90 degrees (say, from nearly equatorial to polar around the Earth)?

Ulysses was first sent toward Jupiter and aimed to arrive at a point in space just ahead and south of the planet. ... The gravity assist maneuver bent the probe's trajectory northward relative to the Ecliptic Plane onto an orbit which passes over the poles of the Sun.

whilst animated gif with Ulysses' trajectory on that same page shows the spacecraft going southward from Jupiter.

The following sketch, borrowed from this answer, also shows southward path after Jupiter fly-by:

Ulysses wiki page says "southwards" as well:

The giant planet's gravity bent the spacecraft's flight path southward and away from the ecliptic plane.

Bonus question: So is it just me being confused, or is the 'Gravity assist' wiki page wrong and does state the opposite from the truth?

• A small correction (probably just a few m/s dV) early on its transfer to Jupiter and normal to the solar ecliptic would bring the craft slightly above jupiter's north pole, resulting in a polar swing by and so a "southward" bend. Maybe there are other, more elaborate ways ...
– user34174
Dec 12, 2019 at 11:23