Spaceflight Without Formulae

Graham Swinerd

How Spacecraft Fly About half a century ago a small satellite, Sputnik 1, was launched. The satellite did very little other than to transmit a radio signal to announce its presence in orbit. However, this humble beginning heralded the dawn of the Space Age. Today literally thousands of robotic spacecraft have been launched, many of which have flown to far-flung regions of the Solar System carrying with them the human spirit of scientific discovery and exploration. Numerous other satellites have been launched in orbit around the Earth providing services that support our technological society on the ground.

How Spacecraft Fly: Spaceflight Without Formulae by Graham Swinerd focuses on how these spacecraft work. The book opens with a historical perspective of how we have come to understand our Solar System and the Universe. It then progresses through orbital flight, rocket science, the hostile environment within which spacecraft operate, and how they are designed. The concluding chapters give a glimpse of what the 21st century may hold in terms of human exploration of the Solar System and more futuristic propulsion technologies for interstellar travel.

Graham Swinerd invites you to understand "how spacecraft fly" while becoming a convincing rocket scientist along the way!

Table of Contents

  1. A Brief History of Space
  2. Basic Orbits
  3. Real Orbits
  4. Beyond Circles and Ellipses
  5. Getting to Orbit
  6. Something About Environment
  7. Spacecraft Design
  8. Subsystem Design: I Like Your Attitude
  9. More Subsystem Design
  10. Space in the 21st Century
  11. Space: The Final Frontier?

Extent: 280 pages, 8-page colour section
Binding: Casebound & Jacketed
Published: 2008
ISBN: 978-0-387-76571-6

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