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Manned Spacecraft Design Principles by Pasquale M Sforza

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Chapter 5

Orbital Mechanics

Abstract

The equations of orbital motion with particular reference to characteristics of earth orbits are developed and the manner of altering those orbits is discussed. The basic ideas of conservation of energy and angular momentum for closed and open orbits are used to illustrate the maintenance of orbits and the achievement of escape from orbit for interplanetary missions. The ground track of orbits, effects of earth’s rotation and precession, determination of longitude, the spacecraft horizon and effects on communication are analyzed. Interplanetary trajectories are discussed and the orbital transfer process for atmospheric entry is presented.

Keywords

Earth orbits; orbital transfer; orbit ground track; interplanetary ...

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