Orbital mechanics is a cornerstone subject for aerospace engineering students. Maintaining the focus of the first edition, the author provides the foundation needed to understand the subject and proceed to advanced topics. Starting with the solution of the two-body problem and formulas for the different kinds of orbits, the text moves on to Kepler’s equations, orbits in three dimensions, orbital elements from observations, orbital maneuvers, orbital rendezvous and interplanetary missions. This is followed by an introduction to spacecraft dynamics and a final chapter on basic rocket dynamics. The author’s teach-by-example approach emphasizes the analytical procedures and computer-implemented algorithms required by today’s students. There are a large number of worked examples, illustrations, end of chapter exercises (with answers) as well as many MATLAB® programs for use in homework and projects. The text can be used for one and two semester courses in space mechanics.

Key Features

* A new section on numerical integration methods applicable to space mechanics problems

* A more centralized and improved discussion of coordinate systems and Euler angle sequences

* An expanded development of relative motion in orbit

* A new section on quaternions

* New worked-out examples, illustrations and homework problems

* New algorithms, MATLAB® scripts and simulations

* Instructor’s manual and lecture slides available online

* Included online testing and assessment component helps students assess their knowledge of the topics


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

Table of Contents

1. Dynamics of Point Masses;
2. The Two-Body Problem;
3. Orbital Position as a Function of Time;
4. Orbits in Three Dimensions;
5. Preliminary Orbit Determination;
6. Orbital Maneuvers;
7. Relative Motion and Rendezvous;
8. Interplanetary Trajectories;
9. Rigid-Body Dynamics;
10. Satellite Attitude Dynamics;
11. Rocket Vehicle Dynamics;
Appx A. Physical Data;
Appx B. A Road Map;
Appx C. Numerical Integration of the n-Body Equations of Motion;
Appx D. Matlab Algorithms;
Appx E. Gravitational Potential Energy of a Sphere


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© 2010
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