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Monday, December 28th, 2009

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A Question About The Slingshot Effect (Not Related To Visiting The 1980's To Collect Whales)
The stuff I've read about using gravity assists say that you fly in close to a planet, and if your angle is right, you'll swing around in a hyperbolic orbit and fly off in the opposite direction. And they also say that the reason you don't break any laws of physics doing this is because you're stealing some of that planet's kinetic energy from its own merry orbit around the Sun.

So what would happen if you attempted a gravity assist using a body that was, for all intents and purposes, stationary?

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