Astrodynamics by Giulio Avanzini

By Giulio Avanzini

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For Earth orbiting satellites, the model still holds without excessive errors; in any case it provides the theoretical minimum propellant consumption, as the whole propulsive effort is concentrated in the optimal position for delivering the thrust pulse. A different model (finite-thrust maneuver), which takes into account the finite magnitude of the available thrust, provides more accurate results. The use of the exact model, where pulses of finite duration are considered, is necessary when electric propulsion is exploited.

In general they present a linear trend (secular variation) with superimposed long– period oscillations, due to interactions with variations of another element, and shorter-period oscillations usually related to phenomena repeated during each orbital revolution. 42 G. Colasurdo, G. Avanzini - Astrodynamics – 4. Earth Satellites The equation of motion can be written in the form µ r¨ = − 3 r + aP r where aP is the acceleration due to the action of the perturbing forces. In general, no closed–form analytical solution is available for describing the long term effects of orbital perturbation, and numerical techniques (special perturbation methods) or approximate analytical solutions (general perturbation methods) are necessary to estimate such effects.

All Space Station flights using Russian launch vehicles are launched from Baikonur, since all nonmilitary launches take place there. Baikonur is also the only Russian site that has been used to inject satellites into retrograde orbits. 4◦ E, has launched the most satellites since the beginning of the Space Age. Plesetsk’s location makes it ideal for launching into polar or high-inclination orbits (63 to 83◦ inclination), typical for military reconnaissance and weather satellites. It continues to be highly active today, especially for military launches and all Molniyaclass communications satellites.

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