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This gives v = 27.3 km/s. Note that the Earth's orbital speed is 30 km/s, so the probe must be going 2.7 km/s slower than the Earth. This means that we must launch the probe in the opposite direction from the Earth's motion. We can find the length of the trip by using Kepler's third law. It tells us that the period of the orbit is given by

For a = 0.86 AU, we find P = 0.80 yr. Therefore the trip to Venus will take half this time, or 0.40 yr (approximately five months).

Once we know how long the trip will take, we must launch when Venus is at the place in its orbit to take it to the rendezvous place in the travel time of the probe. The short period of time when a launch is possible is called a launch

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