# Man went to the moon with only newton's equations?

1. Oct 11, 2004

### relativitydude

Man went to the moon with only newton's equations?

I am keenly interested in seeing these equations. Anyone recommend a book or resource that details this?

2. Oct 11, 2004

### Tide

Man would never have made it to the Moon without Maxwell's equations either not to mention solid state physics and the biological sciences! Telemetry, radio communication and computers were essential to navigation, guidance and problem solving when the unexpected arose.

3. Oct 11, 2004

### mathman

I believe the original question has to do with the fact that in programming the course followed by the Apollos, Newton's gravity laws were sufficient and General Relativity was unneccesary. Any basic physics book would have Newton's theory of gravity as well as Newton's laws.

4. Oct 11, 2004

### Chronos

True. Relativistic corrections were small enough to be ignored given the speeds involved and accuracy required.

5. Oct 11, 2004

### chroot

Staff Emeritus
Well, Newton's equations of motion are:

$$\vec F = m \vec a$$

And his equation of gravitation is

$$F = G \frac{m_1 m_2}{r^2}$$

These are the only two basic equations you need to solve for the trajectory of a rocket-propelled spacecraft in the solar system, where gravitational field strengths and velocities are reasonably small.

- Warren

6. Oct 11, 2004

### rcgldr

What was interesting is that they did come up with a means of 3-d stellar navigation while in the space craft. Anyone here know the details of how this worked? They were able to determine position and velocity.

7. Oct 12, 2004

### Gza

In their most general sense, Newton's Laws are vectorial in nature. Just use 3-d vectors.

8. Oct 12, 2004

### somy

I thinl that must be a secret!!!
The scientist may not be allowed to tell it to everyone. (I mean about the equipment and travellings).
If you have seen one, please tell it to me!!!

Last edited: Oct 12, 2004
9. Oct 12, 2004

### rcgldr

That's the easy part, how did they get a reading to determine their current position while in the spacecraft? (This was doiable without tracking information from the Earth). What type of "sextant" do you use for outer space?

10. Oct 13, 2004

### gerben

Well, of course to steer the shuttle also lots of electronics was needed, which were designed using many electronics "laws", such as Kirchhoff's law etc.

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