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Something for everyone

  1. Sep 25, 2004 #1
    lemme start of by saying hi...

    i came across this forum on a search in google and found it nice...

    i got a nice problem that i cud use help on

    we all know the ususal orbital mechanics of the conic sections. this type of orbit occurs only in unpowered flight (where u dont use any engines, just use the gravity field of planets)

    what wud the orbits be like if the flight was powered.

    im looking at interplanetary powered flight say from earth to mars.

    anyone has already done this or know how todo this... help!

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 25, 2004 #2


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    Hi revenant, welcome to PF!

    AFAIK it needs to be done numerically.

    There is probably something out there somewhere. Look up trajectories relating to 'ion drives' which are continuously powered spacecraft.
  4. Sep 25, 2004 #3


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    Are you interested in a trickle accelleration, like from an ion engine, or a quick flight where you're accelerating at 1g for half your flight, and decelerating at 1g for the second half?
  5. Sep 26, 2004 #4
    well... the type of engine is chemical rocket/electrical/ion... that is i can use them all or just one of them or any two of them... its basically multistage and its powered flight. so u have thrust coming in the force equation and its no longer conic, angular momentum is also not conserved!
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