How long will the flight in a semi-elliptical orbit from Earth to Mercury take if the semi-major axis of Mercury’s orbit is 0.4 AU.
November 15, 2020
The semi-major axis of the orbit along which the spacecraft will move a = (1 AU + 0.4 AU) / 2 = 0.7 AU.
T ^ 2 = a ^ 3; T ^ 2 = 0.343 (years); T = 0.58 (years). The flight will last half of this period T = 0.29 • 365 = 107 days.
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