Orbital Mechanics - and Similar Travel Methods

Gold60

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HI All,

I am looking to get a better understanding of orbital mechanics and space travel, probably a result of a long held in interest in the Apollo Programme.

How do I get a better understanding of OM and Space Travel?

I was OK with Maths and Science up to Year 10 in the mid 1970's, and much less well (abysmally actually) in Yr. 11 and 12 Maths and Physics.

How far back in my Maths and Science learnings would I need to go to refresh myself so I can work up to a basic understanding of OM and Space Travel?

Any ideas would be most appreciated.

Thanks,

AG
 

offshore171

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There's some excellent Youtube channels that cover these topics.

One to start with is Scott Manley, a physicist with a strong interest in rocketry.


There's also some simulation software that might be of interest:

Kerbal Space program - basically you build rockets and try to get them to achieve orbit etc. Has a very realistic physics engine. They run challenges for the users such as smallest amount of fuel to a stable orbit.

You can perform quite advanced concepts such as Hohmann transfer orbits, as well as replicate real historical missions such as Apollo


Universe Sandbox - orbital mechanics on a universe scale. You can do lots of "what if" simulations, such as planting a black hole in orbit around the sun.

 
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Gold60

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thank you OS171. do i need any pre-req knowledge to head down this path ?

There's some excellent Youtube channels that cover these topics.

One to start with is Scott Manley, a physicist with a strong interest in rocketry.


There's also some simulation software that might be of interest:

Kerbal Space program - basically you build rockets and try to get them to achieve orbit etc. Has a very realistic physics engine. They run challenges for the users such as smallest amount of fuel to a stable orbit.
Universe Sandbox - orbital mechanics on a universe scale. You can do lots of "what if" simulations, such as planting a black hole in orbit around the sun.
 

offshore171

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thank you OS171. do i need any pre-req knowledge to head down this path ?

Not really from a hobbyist perspective. Just a general understanding or feel for Isaac Newton's 3 laws of motion.


Another left field suggestion, read the book "The Martian" that the movie was based on. The author is an amateur astronomer, and in the course of the story, explains the orbital concepts really really well.
 

Franky

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HI All,

I am looking to get a better understanding of orbital mechanics and space travel, probably a result of a long held in interest in the Apollo Programme.

How do I get a better understanding of OM and Space Travel?

I was OK with Maths and Science up to Year 10 in the mid 1970's, and much less well (abysmally actually) in Yr. 11 and 12 Maths and Physics.

How far back in my Maths and Science learnings would I need to go to refresh myself so I can work up to a basic understanding of OM and Space Travel?

Any ideas would be most appreciated.

Thanks,

AG
At first I thought you were talking about Ralph Sarich's orbital engine?? :cool::cool:
 

Franky

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No, I am afraid I am aiming a bit higher than that! 👍😎
From memory, there wasn't much to beat after truckloads of money being spent on the project, only thing I can recall going into produuction were outboard engines for boats. Good luck with your endeavours.
 
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moa999

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Is there anyway of joining some kind of group s

Or the SpaceX YouTube feed or Twitter account.

Apparently they weren't trying to catch the fairings today - just sea recovery as they work on some uodated software

With the launches needed for StarLink, SpaceX needs to average something like 2 launches a month for the next couple of years.
 

jb747

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Or the SpaceX YouTube feed or Twitter account.

Apparently they weren't trying to catch the fairings today - just sea recovery as they work on some uodated software

With the launches needed for StarLink, SpaceX needs to average something like 2 launches a month for the next couple of years.

Where Starlink/Space X is likely to succeed is that for them the launches are effectively free. They can use end of life boosters, that owe them nothing. If they get the booster back then good, but after 4-5 launches the loss is negligible. It's staggering what they've managed to do to launch costs, and it shows just how little effort ULA (and cohorts) were putting into making launches cheaper.
 

offshore171

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Where Starlink/Space X is likely to succeed is that for them the launches are effectively free. They can use end of life boosters, that owe them nothing. If they get the booster back then good, but after 4-5 launches the loss is negligible. It's staggering what they've managed to do to launch costs, and

Yeah they’ve reduced the cost to put a kilogram into low earth orbit by a factor of ten, which is pretty incredible.

The cost to produce the first stage, which makes up the bulk of the rocket is around $30M from memory.

The cost of first stage fuel for one launch is remarkably cheap at around $300K. It’s just a readily available kerosene variant.

There’s some cost associated with refurbishing a recovered first stage, but it’s a tiny fraction of the price to build a new one.

They have, and continue to do a fantastic job.
 

offshore171

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When Elon Musk was trying to start Spacex 20 years ago, he went to the Russians to buy an old ICBM to use as a launch vehicle.

They tried to rip him off and laughed at Elon when he told them that he would make his own.

Now the Russians are complaining that they have to cut their launch prices because SpaceX is "price dumping".

And of course 20 years later, Spacex nails stuff like this:

DVYWR2IUQAAutMB.jpg
 

albatross710

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Watching these videos and reading the resources made me think back to how exciting it was hanging out in the school library (1970s) to load my lunar landing from punch cards only to find out I crashed. The along came the commodore pet and it's greenscreen animation.

Good on Gold60 for using this covid time to earn new skills.
 

Gold60

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Thank you for your encouragement albatross710.


In the mid 70's in Yr 10 I did quite OK in Maths and Science, but in YRS 11 and 12 I tried to do Maths A and B - and scored 14 out of 16 points under the old Radford scheme over four units. My Physics was abysmal - so changed to Economics for my last unit and scored a 5 without not having done any economics/accounting, etc. previously. I just couldn’t see the point of all that Trig, Geometry, Calculus, Matrices, etc.

Now much older and wiser, one has certain regrets - LOL!!!

I have always been fascinated in the Apollo Space Programme - and in recent years my interest in some of the maneuverings, etc. have been rekindled. Oh if only I could remember the bits that did interest me at the time. But that is life.

One thing in particular was the mating up of the CSM and the Lunar module - after/during - the TLI. I was amazed to realise, eventually - that they did that little spin around maneuver at 20 000 or 30 000 kms/hr - it looks as though they are barely moving.

So this is where I am - wondering how far back I need go to reacquire the original maths/physics knowledge I had, and acquire to the new stuff I need to get the best understanding I can get about moving around in space. It’s a retirement/general interest thing - just wondering how far I can stretch the mind without breaking it.

The Journey continues.....................................

Watching these videos and reading the resources made me think back to how exciting it was hanging out in the school library (1970s) to load my lunar landing from punch cards only to find out I crashed. The along came the commodore pet and it's greenscreen animation.

Good on Gold60 for using this covid time to earn new skills.
 
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, only thing I can recall going into produuction were outboard engines for boats

They're also used in drones (UAVs)

 

tgh

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'Onya Gold60, I am grievously envious of your aspirations as I languish in Intellectual purgatory.
My mind is rapidly stagnating and what is worse.. I can find no panacea that might spur me to action.
I guess it's a function of age ( I have always been goal driven) but with no real needs..nothing seems worth the effort..😔
My son tried to send me off to uni to do a few Anthropology subjects.. but I really don't care enough.
Anyway..keep it up and keep posting...
 

Gold60

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LOL. Hang in there and keep pushin' ................


'Onya Gold60, I am grievously envious of your aspirations as I languish in Intellectual purgatory.
My mind is rapidly stagnating and what is worse.. I can find no panacea that might spur me to action.
I guess it's a function of age ( I have always been goal driven) but with no real needs..nothing seems worth the effort..😔
My son tried to send me off to uni to do a few Anthropology subjects.. but I really don't care enough.
Anyway..keep it up and keep posting...
 

albatross710

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@tgh I can recommend having a look through the online learning site Cousera. You can generally do the coursework with or without assessment. If you want a certificate you have to pay of course. Over the past two years I have done the following with immediate benefit.

Better visual presentations (upscaled my work presentations to a new level)
Intro to Pyschology (understanding myself and others!)
Java Programming (halved my IT expenditure)
Machine Learning (opened an AI consulting arm)

Currently in the throws of a course called Algorithms which is giving me a toolset to map the world.

As for the OP's Orbital mechanics, the closest I can find of a structured course is Introduction to the Orbital Perspective | Coursera
 

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