Transfer orbit

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A transfer orbit is an intermediate stage in orbital mechanics that is used to move a satellite or other object from one orbit to another.

There are several types of transfer orbits, which vary in their energy efficiency and speed of transfer. These include:

  • Hohmann transfer orbit, an elliptical orbit used to transfer a spacecraft between two circular orbits of different altitudes in the same plane
  • Bi-elliptic transfer, a slower method of transfer, but one that may be more efficient than a Hohmann transfer orbit
  • Geostationary transfer orbit or geosynchronous transfer orbit is usually also a Hohmann transfer orbit

See also Elliptical transfer orbits of one anchored apside[permanent dead link].