Can someone out there help explain (guide, give examples etc.), or show a solution of, the following textbook problem that I can't manage to solve?

You’ve just completed an analysis of where the Space Shuttle must be when it performs a critical maneuver. You know the shuttle is in a circular prograde orbit and has a position vector of $r0= 6275.396I + 2007.268J +1089.857K$ (vektor)

In 55 minutes, you predict the orbital parameters are $a = 1.0470357$ , $e = 0.000096$, $i= 28.5°$, $M= 278.94688°.$

Is your analysis correct?

Comments: The initial orbit is circular, but the final orbit has eccentricity different from 0, but it is small, perhaps caused by disturbances. Cape Canaveral, from which the Space Shuttle is launched has a latitude of 28.5 degrees.

  • $\begingroup$ This looks like you have just copy and pasted a homework question. Streak Exchange is much better suited to answering questions where you show what you have tried and what you have got stuck on. $\endgroup$ – Rory Alsop Sep 10 '16 at 13:38
  • $\begingroup$ Place this question on Space Exploration, but 1) make sure you clearly indicate what text is quoted and 2) give your line of reasoning, i.e. what have you attempted so far, and where are you stuck specifically? StackExchange sites are not for 'Can you do my homework.' You do start off correctly with asking for guidance only, but you should also show your attempts. A better title is also welcome. $\endgroup$ – user10509 Sep 10 '16 at 14:30

Okay, we have the orbital parameters given. My guess is that we need to validate one of them (or all) . The orbit was circular but put into a little elliptical orbit (since e e is not equal to 0) , which means that we have a Hohmann transfer. The phasing time, tau, is 55 minutes (how much it takes for the transfer). For elliptical orbit, tau= pi*sqrt((a_trans^3)/my) (sorry, don't know how to add greek symbols) . my= gravitational parameter and a_trans is radius of periapsis. We can calculate a_trans from this equation, and I did that and got 1.3.. Earth Radii, which does not match the given one. Therefore, the answer should be b). am I right?

| improve this answer | |
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ You ask if the answer should be "b", but you haven't provided any letter-indexed options in the original post. Was this a multiple choice question? If so, please make sure to quote that portion of the textbook as well if you are going to be referencing it. $\endgroup$ – called2voyage Sep 12 '16 at 14:15
  • $\begingroup$ @called2voyage Agreed, this is almost comical. $\endgroup$ – Sir Cumference Sep 13 '16 at 13:13

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy