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Lecture# Arrival to a Planet

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This lecture covers the determination of important parameters for space mission design and operations, including velocity calculations and orbit insertion around the destination planet using hyperbolic trajectories.

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Parabolic trajectory

In astrodynamics or celestial mechanics a parabolic trajectory is a Kepler orbit with the eccentricity equal to 1 and is an unbound orbit that is exactly on the border between elliptical and hyperbolic. When moving away from the source it is called an escape orbit, otherwise a capture orbit. It is also sometimes referred to as a C3 = 0 orbit (see Characteristic energy). Under standard assumptions a body traveling along an escape orbit will coast along a parabolic trajectory to infinity, with velocity relative to the central body tending to zero, and therefore will never return.

Radial trajectory

In astrodynamics and celestial mechanics a radial trajectory is a Kepler orbit with zero angular momentum. Two objects in a radial trajectory move directly towards or away from each other in a straight line. There are three types of radial trajectories (orbits). Radial elliptic trajectory: an orbit corresponding to the part of a degenerate ellipse from the moment the bodies touch each other and move away from each other until they touch each other again. The relative speed of the two objects is less than the escape velocity.

Escape velocity

In celestial mechanics, escape velocity or escape speed is the minimum speed needed for a free, non-propelled object to escape from the gravitational influence of a primary body, thus reaching an infinite distance from it. It is typically stated as an ideal speed, ignoring atmospheric friction. Although the term "escape velocity" is common, it is more accurately described as a speed than a velocity because it is independent of direction.

Kepler's equation

In orbital mechanics, Kepler's equation relates various geometric properties of the orbit of a body subject to a central force. It was derived by Johannes Kepler in 1609 in Chapter 60 of his Astronomia nova, and in book V of his Epitome of Copernican Astronomy (1621) Kepler proposed an iterative solution to the equation. This equation and its solution, however, first appeared in 9th century work of Habash al-Hasib al-Marwazi related to problems of parallax.

Hyperbolic trajectory

In astrodynamics or celestial mechanics, a hyperbolic trajectory or hyperbolic orbit is the trajectory of any object around a central body with more than enough speed to escape the central object's gravitational pull. The name derives from the fact that according to Newtonian theory such an orbit has the shape of a hyperbola. In more technical terms this can be expressed by the condition that the orbital eccentricity is greater than one.

Learn the concepts used in the design of space missions, manned or unmanned, and operations, based on the professional experience of the lecturer.

Learn the concepts used in the design of space missions, manned or unmanned, and operations, based on the professional experience of the lecturer.

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