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Thread: Orbital Mechanics for Dummies - Learn how spaceships travel - video lessons

  1. #1
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    Orbital Mechanics for Dummies - Learn how spaceships travel - video lessons

    An overwhelming number of people in the poll requested videos be made.

    This is the first in the series.

    Part 1:

    -Rasi

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    Just had a moment to look at this--well done. A very gentle introduction to the base ideas and terminology. If I had to offer any sort of extended explanation it would have to do with inclination (understanding that you were trying to keep things simple for this first vid).

    An inclination of 0 degrees DOES mean an orbit along the equator (an equatorial orbit) in the SAME DIRECTION that the body is rotating (the orbit is "prograde"). An inclination of 90 is a polar orbit, yes. An inclination of 180 degrees is again an equatorial orbit, but this time the ship would be traveling AGAINST the rotation of the body (a "retrograde" orbit).

    In general, the "tricky" part of all this is understanding that the terms prograde and retrograde get used over and over. If someone says "prograde" and you don't know the "what" it can get a bit confusing.

    Similarly, there can be many different terms to represent periapsis and apoapsis. Normally, they are altered to reflect the body you're in orbit around. For example, while orbiting earth your orbital high point is "apogee", while the low point is "perigee". The periapsis of a body around its star is called "perihelion", while its apoapsis is called "aphelion". Just remember "peri" ("near"), and "ap" ("away from") and you'll be fine

    Nicely done though, Raistlen007. I look forward to the next one!
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    Thank you very much Michael.

    You are right on all points of course. I'll clarify the inclination in the next video when I discuss inclination changes as part of a rendezvous.

    As for the other terms for highest and lowest points, I'll include them if they appear in RS, otherwise I fear it would just cause confusion.

    I should have the next video out during this week.
    -Rasi

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    Thanx for sharing. Anxious to see the next one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raistlen007 View Post
    Thank you very much Michael.

    You are right on all points of course. I'll clarify the inclination in the next video when I discuss inclination changes as part of a rendezvous.

    As for the other terms for highest and lowest points, I'll include them if they appear in RS, otherwise I fear it would just cause confusion.

    I should have the next video out during this week.
    No, RogSys will always use the "generic" terms periapsis and apoapsis. I only mention it in case people decide to do more reading on the subject and come across the variations
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    Good stuff, enjoyed.

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    Being a noob and English is not my first language this was perfectly explained . I am looking forward to the next one .

    Thank you

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    "The knack of flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss." - Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams

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    Just from looking at the preview image for the video there is a bit of a typo. "Radial out" should be changed to be in the same format as radial in. IE, radial in = direction to center of orbit, radial out = direction away from center of orbit.

    Apoapsis and periapsis are switched. Peri- means near. In the video preview image, it shows periapsis to be the far point in orbit.

    EDIT: Reading that back to myself it sounded unappreciative. So I would like to be sure I say that it's really cool of you to make the video explaining things for people.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MLow View Post
    Just from looking at the preview image for the video there is a bit of a typo. "Radial out" should be changed to be in the same format as radial in. IE, radial in = direction to center of orbit, radial out = direction away from center of orbit.

    Apoapsis and periapsis are switched. Peri- means near. In the video preview image, it shows periapsis to be the far point in orbit.

    EDIT: Reading that back to myself it sounded unappreciative. So I would like to be sure I say that it's really cool of you to make the video explaining things for people.
    I had noticed that and was thinking how to fix it. Thinking annotations.

    Edit: Fixed with annotations
    -Rasi

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