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Questions tagged [gravity-assist]

Questions regarding the use of an object's gravity to change the velocity of a spaceship.

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Free Return Transfer Problem

I'm trying to understand how a free-transfer return works. It makes sense to me conceptually, but putting numbers to it it is unclear. I'm not sure how to obtain information about the transfer ...
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117 views

What is the fastest velocity to which something can be accellerated using a gravity assist [duplicate]

My understanding of gravity-assists (slingshot) is that they use some of a more-massive object's orbital energy to gain massive acceleration. What's the upper limit on how much velocity an object ...
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STK Astrogator Earth Flyby

TLDR: How do you set up an EEV maneuver, specifically, how do you go from an earth orbit to a heliocentric orbit with a periapsis within Venus’s orbit in astrogator? I know the theory but astrogator ...
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History of the planetary flyby for gravitational assist; first conception, mathematical demonstration, plan, and execution?

Planetary flybys for gravitational assists are a stable of deep space missions. When did the following things happen? First documented realization that gravitational assists in spaceflight were ...
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Do you need to burn fuel between gravity assists?

If you are planning a mission to an outer planet with multiple gravity assists included, do you need to do some burns for corrections, between the slingshots, or the ideal trajectory is already ...
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Were there any identified launch windows and gravity-assist trajectories that could put a probe on a “Grand Tour” trajectory around 1981?

For context, I am developing an alternate history that features a far more ambitious Voyager program than the one undertaken in real life. However, despite the increase in NASA funding provided in the ...
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50 views

How to plot conic from Lambert solver

I am trying to solve for an optimal multi-gravity assist trajectory from Earth to Saturn using Matlab. I have already solved for the departure and arrival velocities from and to each planet using a ...
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2answers
106 views

Gravity assist from Mercury

The Oberth effect states most energy can be gained when you have highest velocity in orbit. The interplanetary missions, generally involve ion propulsion along with gravity assist from planets such as ...
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1answer
399 views

Can a “gravity assist” at a black hole accelerate light faster than the speed of light? [closed]

With the help of a gravity assist from a black hole, can light travel faster than its natural light speed?? Satellites use gravity assistance. In a similar way can light traveling near black hole ...
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Gravitational keyhole for spacecraft flyby?

Is there a term for the area near a planet a spacecraft must pass through for a gravitational-assist flyby, or does 'gravitational keyhole' apply to gravitational assists as well as for asteroids?
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1answer
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Mangalyaan + Trident; is it possible? escape the solar system using a low cost booster

5 years ago, India launched the Mangalyaan spacecraft to Mars, on a budget that raised eyebrows at the time. It was probably the Mars mission launched with the least powerful rocket; a feat only made ...
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1answer
110 views

Will a spacecraft accelerate in a gravitational field via the use of a powered rotating mass?

I believe that a powered rotating mass on board a spacecraft should result in the spacecraft being propelled in a continuous increasing velocity towards the source of the gravitational field. To help ...
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What Jovian system science targets would be suitable for Jupiter gravity assist flyby missions with other primary purposes?

Flying by Jupiter for gravity assist, and with the Oberth effect bonus, has been used for multiple missions to other outer planets and to comets. And has potential for use even for missions aiming at ...
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What is the smallest body in which a sling shot maneuver can be performed?

This question asks about the smallest sling shot maneuver performed. What was the smallest intentional, acknowledged slingshot maneuver? I'm asking how small of an object be to perform a sling shot ...
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What was the smallest intentional, acknowledged slingshot maneuver?

I'll keep it short but please read through! Gravitation's $1/r$ potential means everything in the solar system is pulling on everything all the time. Gravitational slingshot maneuvers are normally ...
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3answers
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How fast can an orbit exist in the solar system?

How fast is too fast to stay in orbit around any particular large body in the solar system?
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Why didn't Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 crash on into Jupiter or Uranus when they approached near to these massive planets?

I was reading about gravity assist and I read that both the Voyagers used gravitational force of these planets to speed up. But I wanted to know why weren't they completely attracted by their ...
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2answers
468 views

How much does a swing-by change the orbit of the planet?

A friend of mine told me that one Voyager swing-by moved the orbit of Jupiter a foot closer to the sun. I understand that Jupiter was slowed by the gravity assist, but I figured it would be minuscule ...
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137 views

Determining the spacecraft position vector with respect to ICRF frame for Venus flyby

For an interplanetary mission design to Saturn, I have considered doing multiple gravity assists starting with Venus. I am using the JPL Horizons ephemeris and ESA Lambert Solver. I have the ...
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1answer
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Perpetual motion [closed]

When I was young, I had a set of bar magnets which had poles on the side faces (across the thickness) and not at the two ends. I placed one on the table facing one pole upwards (say north pole). ...
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1answer
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Help choosing a gravity assist scenario for this problem

The problem stated below is from an assignment I was given. My initial approach involved doing a direct Hohmann Transfer to Saturn. This approach violated the fuel constraints and hence was deemed ...
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5answers
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The dreaded apocalyptic asteroid approaches Earth but lands safely on the Moon at zero relative velocity

An asteroid approaches and the Moon 'catches' it in the same way that a sports player catches a ball - that is to say by matching the velocity of the hand to that of the ball. Could a lucky slingshot ...
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Venus gravity assist (and aerobraking) - How much delta-V can it add?

The Voyagers made a grand tour using the gravity assist of each planet. But Jupiter, with a 12 year orbital period, doesn't always line up to be useful for spacecrafts destined to further planets. ...
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Multiple gravity assists [closed]

Is it possible,just by looking at the heliocentric position and velocity vectors of the spacecraft and the planet,to decide whether the resulting flyby would be trailing or a leading flyby? If yes, ...
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Gravity assist braking from Titania

If a probe entered a highly elliptical orbit around Uranus after firing its engine (similar to what Cassini did at Saturn), could it use Uranus' moon Titania as a gravity assist to circularize its ...
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If Cassini's final flyby of Saturn's moon Titan is the 127th Titan flyby, why is it called “T-126”?

Cassini's final flyby of Titan in April 2017 sealed it's fate in September of that year. This is described further in answers to What force is bringing Cassini down into Saturn's atmosphere in another ...
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Can a satellite utilize gravity gradient stabilization, solar power, electrodynamic tethering and dynamic quadrupole momentum at once?

Have any analysis been done using 2 or more devises above to function as a satellite where 1 alone would not to maintain orbit without propellants? Will this system or one with a different ...
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232 views

Was the gravity turn used in early spaceflight?

Reading through the Wikipedia article about Gravity Turn, specifically the Use in spaceflight section, it seems that the Gravity Turn was not used in early spaceflight. Is that correct? For example, ...
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1answer
115 views

What would the perihelion of Ulysses's orbit have been without a trajectory adjustment after its Jupiter swingby?

I'm wondering what the perihelion of the orbit of Ulysses spacecraft would have been had a trajectory adjustment after its Jupiter swingby not taken place? On Wikipedia it says "The size and shape of ...
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2answers
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Can the Sun's magnetic field be used to propel a solar satellite?

Can diamagnetic materials or a diamagnetic devise be used to propel using the magnetic field of the Sun in a solar polar magnetic assisted slingshot?
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Can you use magnets to travel through space?

My thought process is that there is very little friction in space minus gravitational pull. Which could be a good thing if you wanted to go faster or slow down. The question is, is it possible to ...
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1answer
139 views

How can I look for the best date of launch for gravity assist?

I am new to astrodynamics, and I am trying to learn about gravity assists, but I don't understand how I can easily decide a launch date and arrival late for the planet in which I calculate the gravity ...
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179 views

Is it possible to dock with a ship that is on a Galileo-like trajectory?

Reading about missions that have made or will make heavy use of gravity assist (Galileo, Cassini, MESSENGER, BepiColombo...) made me wonder about what if a heavy unmanned ship (BFS?), with all the ...
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260 views

Calculating spacecraft thrust manoeuvres with JPL data

I've recently programmed an animated simulation of the main elements (core planets and Sun) of our solar system: by using the initial coordinates from the JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory - NASA) ...
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Could Starman get ejected from the Solar System?

This is not about a prediction of Starman's fate, although it might be interesting to find it so. This is about any object having similar aphelion and perihelion values to Starman (Elon Musk's Tesla ...
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4answers
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Can we set up an orbiting transporter between Earth and the Moon?

I will give an example with the moon. If some spacecraft is put either in orbit around both earth and moon or in highly eccentric orbit that intersects with the moon orbit, some other spacecraft can ...
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1answer
811 views

Can we speed up spacecraft to suitable interstellar travel speed using oscillating gravity assists on planets on opposite sides of the solar system?

I recently calculated using $E = 0.5mv^2$ that one kilogram of mass traveling at one tenth of the speed of light would have a kinetic energy of 449.4 trillion joules. Relativistic effects are ...
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2answers
415 views

Estimate of effectiveness of gravity turn compared to vertical flight

How much higher is a rocket following a gravity turn going to be able to reach compared to a rocket following a vertical flight ? I understand that it depends on which type of rocket and which type ...
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2answers
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How much longer would New Horizons take to reach Pluto without the Jupiter slingshot?

A recent answer by PearsonArtPhoto claims: New Horizons was launched at Solar System Escape Velocity, meaning it could have visited anywhere beyond Earth without stopping. It did visit Jupiter, ...
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Would it be possible to go beyond Jupiter without making any slingshot?

It is said that we do not have such advanced technology in order to send a spacecraft out of the solar system. (Source: Everyone around) When a spacecraft is launched from Earth and aims to leave the ...
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How do we come up with the gravity assist (or slingshot) formula?

When you search up in google gravity assist formula, it comes up with the simplest version: Which means that: Final velocity = Initial velocity + 2 (velocity of the planet) Then if we do some more ...
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1answer
153 views

Does a Titan flyby guarantee that a spacecraft can escape Saturn?

Could a spacecraft orbiting Saturn, like Cassini, use a Titan gravity assist to leave the Saturn system (e.g. to bring a sample back to Earth), without using fuel other than to reach Titan?
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When are there launch windows to Neptune via Jupiter?

I suppose there's a launch window to Neptune by using Jupiter as often as there are Jupiter/Neptune conjunctions, every 13½ years. But which years are Jupiter and Neptune best aligned for gravity ...
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How to gain speed in space?

New concept: What about if we are to depend from external forces? So we cannot produce any kind of propulsion from our ship. Previous question: I know that there are two main ways to gain speed in ...
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1answer
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Could we use the moon for a slingshot effect?

The slingshot effect or gravity assist maneuver produces a boost on the speed of the object which attempts to approach a planet head-on at a speed V while the planet is moving directly toward us at a ...
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Isn't the escape velocity for the solar system at the Earth 42.1 km/s? Then why does the graph show 36 km/s for the same value? Is the plot wrong? [duplicate]

The graph shows that 36 km/s is the escape velocity of the solar system at the Earth. But if we do some calculations, we will get 42.1 km/s as the right answer. I have been checking all other escape ...
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What are the disadvantages of gravity flyby assist?

Does the gravity assist get affected by any of the forces by other planets as they proceed towards the required orbit? Moreover what can be the other setbacks of gravity assist flyby?
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Is gravity assist provided by black hole as shown in Interstellar possible? [duplicate]

In our space missions, we use gravity assists by planets to change the speed relative to the sun. The speed relative to planets remains the same. We cannot use the sun for gravity assists. In ...
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Is there a way to get the angle of approach of a spacecraft with respect to a planet velocity vector?

I apologize if my question is badly formulated I know it's really specific but here what I would like to know : I managed to compute the turning angle of the velocity for a body along a hyperbola ...
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1answer
285 views

Is it profitable to save fuel for the Oberth effect during a Jupiter gravity assist?

Probes to the outer Solar system use a Jupiter flyby for gravity assist, all six such missions thus far have. While flying near a gravity well one can enjoy the Oberth effect which multiplies the ...