Orbital Mechanics for Engineering Students book cover

Orbital Mechanics for Engineering Students

Written by Howard Curtis, Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Embry-Riddle University, Orbital Mechanics for Engineering Students is a crucial text for students of aerospace engineering. Now in its 3e, the book has been brought up-to-date with new topics, key terms, homework exercises, and fully worked examples. Highly illustrated and fully supported with downloadable MATLAB algorithms for project and practical work, this book provides all the tools needed to fully understand the subject.


Undergraduate students in aerospace, astronautical, mechanical engineering, and engineering physics; related professional aerospace and space engineering fields.

Hardbound, 768 Pages

Published: October 2013

Imprint: Butterworth Heinemann

ISBN: 978-0-08-097747-8


  • Chapter 1: Dynamics of Point Masses
    Chapter 2: The Two-Body Problem
    Chapter 3: Orbital Position as a Function of Time
    Chapter 4: Orbits in Three Dimensions
    Chapter 5: Preliminary Orbit Determination
    Chapter 6: Orbital Maneuvers
    Chapter 7: Relative Motion and Rendezvous
    Chapter 8: Interplanetary Trajectories
    Chapter 9: Rigid Body Dynamics
    Chapter 10: Satellite Attitude Dynamics
    Chapter 11: Rocket Vehicle Dynamics
    Chapter 12: Introduction to Orbital Perturbations

    Appendix A: Physical Data
    Appendix B: A Road Map
    Appendix C: Numerical Integration of the N-Body Equations of Motion
    Appendix D: MATLAB Algorithms
    Appendix E: Gravitational Potential Energy of a Sphere
    Appendix F: Computing the Difference Between Nearly Equal Numbers


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