ELI5: Explain Like I'm 5

aerogravity assist

Let's pretend that you and your friend are playing catch with a ball on a swing set. You toss the ball to your friend, and they toss it back to you. But what if you could make the ball go faster without using any extra energy?

That's kind of like what happens with an aerogravity assist. A spacecraft (like a robot that travels in space) can use the gravity of a planet or moon to help it go faster or change directions without using up any extra fuel.

Here's how it works: when a spacecraft gets close to a planet or moon, it gets pulled towards it by the planet's gravity. But instead of crashing into the planet, the spacecraft swings around it and gets a "push" from the planet's gravity. This "push" makes the spacecraft speed up and change direction.

It's kind of like how you would swing on a swing set. The higher you swing, the farther you go. The planet is like the person pushing you on the swing, giving you more energy and making you go faster.

Scientists and engineers use aerogravity assists to help spacecraft travel farther and faster without using up too much fuel. By getting a "push" from a planet's gravity, spacecraft can explore more of our solar system and send back amazing pictures and information for us to learn from.
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