Jun 12 – 16, 2023
Asia/Yerevan timezone

Gravity assist as a test of relativistic gravity

Jun 15, 2023, 3:30 PM


Dr Sergei Bolokhov (RUDN University, Moscow, Russia)


We consider the gravity assist maneuver, that is, a correction of spacecraft motion at its passing near a planet, as a tool for evaluating the Eddington post-Newtonian parameters $\beta$ and $\gamma$, characterizing vacuum spherically symmetric gravitation fields in metric theories of gravity. We estimate the effect of variation in $\beta$ and $\gamma$ on a particular trajectory of a probe launched from the Earth's orbit and passing closely near Venus, where relativistic corrections slightly change the impact parameter of probe scattering in Venus's gravitational field. It is shown, in particular, that a change of $10^{−4}$ in $\beta$ or $\gamma$ leads to a shift of about 50 km in the probe's aphelion position.

Primary authors

Prof. Kirill Bronnikov (VNIIMS & RUDN University, Moscow, Russia) Dr Sergei Bolokhov (RUDN University, Moscow, Russia) Dr Milena Skvortsova (RUDN University, Moscow, Russia)

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