Orbital mechanics – Part 2

For part one, follow this link: there we answer the question “how to stay in orbit”. In this post, we want to figure out how to change the orbit we are in and, in particular, how to get into orbit.

How to change our orbit

Let us assume we are in an elliptical orbit, and that we change our velocity with an impulse (instantaneous change of velocity) along the same velocity vector we had previously when we are at perigee (this is just for simplicity, to fix a special point). What happens?

Continue reading “Orbital mechanics – Part 2”

Orbital mechanics – Part 1

How to stay in orbit

This introduction only focuses on some aspects of celestial or orbital mechanics. In particular, we will stick to planar orbits, which we can assume equatorial for simplicity. Moreover, we will always consider two-body approximations. There will be some other simplifications, but we will mention them later when they become relevant.

The questions we want to answer are: how to go in orbit, how to stay in orbit and how to change orbit. We start, in this post, with the second one.

Continue reading “Orbital mechanics – Part 1”