Orbital Transfers between Planetary Orbits:
An Example

We will:

  1. Determine the orbit Shape needed.
  2. Determine the time of flight to the planet.
  3. Determine the time when the space probe must be launched.
  4. Determine the velocity the probe must have at launch to reach Mars.

The diagram shows the geometry of the orbits in our example. The orbit of the space probe must have perihelion at the Earth's Orbit and aphelion at the orbit of the target planet. This allows us to determine the shape and the semi-major axis of the orbit.

Let's use the example of sending a probe to Mars.