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