transfer orbit


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transfer orbit

The trajectory followed by a spacecraft moving from one orbit to another, usually to the orbit of another body, such as another planet. The trajectory is generally part of an elongated ellipse – a transfer ellipse – that intersects the new orbit. The spacecraft would have to maneuver into an orbit around the planet by firing its rocket motors.

The transfer orbit requiring the minimum expenditure of energy is an ellipse that just touches the original (circular) orbit and the new coplanar orbit. This is called a Hohmann transfer, after the German engineer Walter Hohmann, who described it in 1925. Enough velocity is put in at the perigee (or equivalent point) of the Hohmann transfer for the craft to reach the new orbit at apogee; at apogee an additional velocity input injects the craft into the desired orbit. Although requiring the lowest possible energy, Hohmann transfers between planets involve a long flight time. The flight time can be much reduced by using a somewhat greater velocity at perigee than that needed for a Hohmann transfer. See also gravity assist.

Collins Dictionary of Astronomy © Market House Books Ltd, 2006

transfer orbit

[′tranz·fər ‚ȯr·bət]
(aerospace engineering)
In interplanetary travel, an elliptical trajectory tangent to the orbits of both the departure planet and the target planet. Also known as transfer ellipse.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Obviously, as [gamma] is utilized to control the orbital transfer and the pendular motion at the same time, the transfer time [t.sub.f] between two circular orbits is 6214 s, which is longer than the transfer time of the transversal thrust transfer orbit (5835 s).
"One hour and six minutes later, the Block DM-SL upper stage inserted the satellite, weighing 5,210 kilograms [11,485 lbs.] and built by Astrium, an EADS company, into geosynchronous transfer orbit, on its way to a final orbital position at 70.5 degrees East longitude," it said.
After its successful launch on April 23, the satellite performed a series of maneouvers bringing it from an elliptical transfer orbit to its final circular geostationary orbit some 35,786 km above earth.
After its successful launch on April 23, (Abu Dhabi time) the satellite performed a series of maneuvers bringing it from an elliptical transfer orbit to its final circular geostationary orbit some 35,786 km above Earth.
Braxton, a provider of products and professional services for government and commercial missions, said that its system will augment Boeing's extensive suite of orbital analysis software tools for transfer orbit and station keeping operations.
Approximately 27 minutes after lift-off the spacecraft separated from the Ariane 5 upper stage and was placed into geostationary transfer orbit. Initial signals from NSS-12 were received at a control station in Uralla, Australia at 8:32 p.m.
The Indian Space Research Organization's (ISRO) craftwill, like its Chinese counterpart, first occupy a geostationary transfer orbit before using its onboard engine to reach lunar orbit.
The Zenit-3SL vehicle would lift the 5,483kg DIRECTV 7S satellite to geosynchronous transfer orbit, on its way to a final orbital position at 119 degrees West Longitude, the company added.
They will be placed in geostationary transfer orbit, which differs from typical geostationary orbit by the satellite's variable altitude above the ground, enabling the testing of equipment at various altitudes.
For example, while the cost of moving mass into geostationary transfer orbit may be expensive (according to Watts, moving 2,200 pounds to geostationary transfer orbit using a Chinese Long March 2C costs twenty-five million dollars), middle tens to low hundreds of millions of dollars for an anti-satellite program may be an attractive price for a capability to attack the small number of high-value U.S.
The Daeduck facility is also equipped with 11 and 6.4 m antennas; the 11 m antenna supports transfer orbit operations, the 6.4 m antenna serves in a backup overall system control capacity.
Possibilities under study include modifications of the Air force's existing Inertial Upper Stage booster, as well as a commercial booster called the Transfer Orbit Stage, being developed by Orbital Sciences Corp.