Questions tagged [orbital-mechanics]

Orbital mechanics or astrodynamics is the application of ballistics and celestial mechanics to the practical problems concerning the motion of rockets and other spacecraft. The motion of these objects is usually calculated from Newton's laws of motion and Newton's law of universal gravitation. It is a core discipline within space mission design and control.

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3answers
704 views

Why was 'Space Station V' in Low Earth Orbit?

Was it ever explained why Space Station V, used as a transfer point from Earth orbit to the moon and other planets, was in a low Earth orbit rather than a higher orbit, which would have been more ...
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957 views

During the Ganymede attack, why did the destroyed solar mirrors/panels immediately start to fall?

I am assuming here that these solar mirrors/panels are orbiting Ganymede, not flying through its atmosphere. Nothing indicates that Ganymede has a substantial atmosphere - it is missing it now, in ...
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1answer
1k views

Why Didn't Gallifrey Throw Earth Out of Orbit?

In the Doctor Who episode "The End of Time Part 2", (has it been long enough I don't need a spoiler? eh, I won't take the chance) Gallifrey is visually several times the size of Earth, as is shown ...
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1answer
196 views

TOS Galileo Seven decaying orbit problem

I've just watched a rerun of The Galileo Seven episode from season one of TOS. Am I missing something or did the writers just not understand what an orbit means? As a desperate measure to escape the ...
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2answers
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In “The Man from Planet X” was Planet X ever directly behind the sun w/ same orbit as earth?

This NASA web page refers to the SF film The Man from Planet X (1951) in reference to the possibility of a planet at earth's L3 point - directly opposite the sun: NASA is unlikely to find any use ...
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Why is the Starkiller Base a snow planet?

In The Force Awakens, Starkiller Base is shown to be tremendously close to its host star—close than Mercury is to the Sun. So why is it a snow planet? NOTE: Part of the answer might have to do with ...
6
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1answer
434 views

Wouldn't orbitals eclipse themselves?

From http://www.vavatch.co.uk/books/banks/cultnote.htm: Perhaps the easiest way to envisage an Orbital is to compare it to the idea that inspired it (this sounds better than saying; Here's where I ...
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4answers
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How was the crew of the Ares 3 able to successfully get back to the Hermes?

The first scene of "The Martian" a storm kicks up on the surface of Mars and the crew of the Ares 3 decide they need to abandon their mission and return to the Hermes. They quickly board the MAV and ...
3
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2answers
1k views

How did that rendezvous between Hermes and the probe happen?

I saw the movie and my Kerbal bell rang when the Hermes, at the fastest point in its trajectory, slingshoting around Earth back to Mars, rendezvous with the supplies probe. Well, everywhere I read ...
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2answers
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How long could Miller's Planet remain in orbit [closed]

In Christopher Nolan's movie Interstellar, Miller's Planet is in orbit around a supermassive black hole affectionately (??) called Gargantua. Miller's Planet orbiting Gargantua: It is orbiting "at ...
6
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1answer
221 views

Space Travel in “Waldo”

Before the "Other World" business starts up Waldo is a hard sf story. I enjoyed reading the description of Waldo's free-fall habitat; given the lack of the computerization, I think it still holds up. ...
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3answers
574 views

What was the orbital radius of the Elysium toroid?

What was the orbital radius of the Elysium toroid? When the first group of 3 ships sent by Spider were traveling towards Elysium, the movie cut to Defense Secretary Delacourt at a party at her home. ...
8
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1answer
374 views

Identify a short story where two astronauts on an orbiting platform are having a dispute

I remember reading a short story in the 60/70's where there were two astronauts in spacesuits on an orbiting platform having some sort of dispute. One of them successfully threatens the other to by ...
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4answers
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In Gravity, are the orbital mechanics of space debris plausible? [closed]

I Gravity, a satellite somewhere is shot down by a missile, and the debris from that hits other satellites causing a chain reaction of rapidly increasing amount of space debris. The protagonists are ...
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3answers
647 views

Is there a calendar NOT based on a solar or planetary cycle? [closed]

I'm wanting to find a calendar system that would be used by a space faring race but can't think of how I would even google that?!
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12answers
10k views

Why do Star Trek vessels always approach each other on parallel planes?

Space is just open 3D space, right? In Star Trek, ships are always coming from somewhere else: different solar systems, galaxies, etc. However, when they meet, they always seem to be on parallel ...