Gravity Assist?

From: Jeff Umbarger (
Date: Fri Aug 26 2005 - 16:13:03 EDT

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    Hey All,
         I know that this is somewhat off thread but can
    someone explain how a planet can "slingshot" a
    satellite that has come near it at a *higher* velocity
    than before the satellite reached the planet? Here is
    where I struggle with this idea: if satellite is
    approaching a planet, then that planets gravity should
    begin to accelerate that satellite towards it. But as
    the satellite *departs* the planet after making
    closest approach that same gravity should decelerate
    the satellite by just as much - with no net positive
    gain, right???
              Jeff Umbarger
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