Gravity Assist

(Last edited: Monday, 13 March 2023, 3:55 PM)


Short Definition:

Gravity assistance describes the intentional use of the gravitational attraction of a celestial body, in order to modify the trajectory of a space vehicle. This maneuver allows the spacecraft to save rocket fuel.

Detailed Definition:


1. Gravity (Noun.), originating from the Latin word gravitatem, with the meaning of “weight, heaviness, pressure

2. Assist (Verb.), originating from Latin word assistere, which means “standing by, help”

Sample Sentence(s):

“The global minimum velocity increments of direct transfer trajectory and gravity-assist trajectories are obtained for each candidate target.”

  • French: Assistance gravitationnelle
  • German: Schwerkraftumlenkung
  • Polish: Asysta grawitacyjna
  • Swedish: Gravitationsslunga

Links to Videos/Articles:

  1. "Section 1: Environment, Chapter 4: Trajectories". Basics of Space Flight. NASA. 
  2. "Gravity assist". The Planetary Society. 

» Dictionary of Space Concepts