Download PDF by Graham Swinerd: How Spacecraft Fly: Spaceflight Without Formulae


By Graham Swinerd

ISBN-10: 0387765719

ISBN-13: 9780387765716

During this renowned technological know-how e-book, Graham Swinerd explains, with no using arithmetic and in an off-the-cuff approach, aerodynamic and astrodynamic flight for non-technical readers who're drawn to spaceflight and spacecraft.

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Extra resources for How Spacecraft Fly: Spaceflight Without Formulae

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However, just to muddy the waters a little, we can look at an example that shows that sometimes the choice of the mission orbit is not quite so obvious. The third example, mission objective 3, above, relates to the operation of an orbiting astronomical observatory, and if we look at the orbits of such spacecraft in current operation we find them in a variety of orbits. ). This variety suggests that the choice in this case is perhaps not quite so simple. In cases such as this, a more detailed analysis is required to select the orbit, involving consideration of both spacecraft payload and system requirements which influence the decision.

Given this, the reader might ask why Einstein's complex theory of gravity is needed, when Newton does a perfectly good job already. The answer is that Einstein's theory goes further, and predicts additional effects that are particularly conspicuous in very intense gravitational fields. A good example of this is the bending of light as it passes the Sun, an experimentally confirmed effect that is not predicted at all by Newton's theory. In our everyday experience, a beam of light is perhaps the best way of defining a straight line.

Choosing the Best Orbit The five types of orbit we have discussed are popular with spacecraft operators, but how do we select the best of the huge number of possible orbits to choose from for a particular spacecraft mission? This question is central to the activities of the team of project engineers tasked with the job of the spacecraft mission analysis. The quick answer is that the spacecraft needs to be in the right place, that is, the right orbit, so that the spacecraft payload can most effectively achieve its mission objectives.

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How Spacecraft Fly: Spaceflight Without Formulae by Graham Swinerd

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