An introduction to the mathematics and methods of astrodynamics by Richard H. Battin pdf free download.
This comprehensive text documents the fundamental theoretical developments in astrodynamics and space navigation that led to Man’s ventures into space. It includes the essential elements of celestial mechanics, spacecraft trajectories, and space navigation, as well as the history of the underlying mathematical developments.
Although “Astrodynamics” is a discipline only about 50 years old – the name is attributed to the late Samuel Herrick – it has a distinguished history. For one thing, it is a branch of celestial mechanics, whose history can be traced all the way back to Ptolemy’s “Almagest.” Along the way are found many venerable masterpieces, including Copernicus’s “De revolutionibus orbium coelestium,” Kepler’s “Harmonices Mundi,” Newton’s “Principia,” and Laplace’s “Mecanique Celeste.”
Only time will tell exactly where Richard Battin’s book fits into this pantheon, but there is no question it is an outstanding book. Actually, the book may be considered to be three books: a) a history of Apollo navigation; b) an exposition of classical celestial mechanics/astrodynamics; and c) a book on applied mathematics covering hypergeometric functions, continued fractions, and elliptic functions.
The material on Apollo navigation is fascinating, and perhaps nowhere else so easily accessible. Prior to reading Battin’s “Astrodynamics [for short]” I was somewhat familiar with this topic (I started my career with Apollo), but I discovered much that was new and fascinating. For example, I knew that optical navigation was a backup to radio navigation on Apollo, but I did not fully appreciate why. It turns out that NASA was afraid the Soviet Union would try to disrupt radio navigation in an attempt to make Apollo fail. Optical navigation would then be the backup safety-net to complete the mission. Fortunately, these fears were not realized, and Apollo was a huge success.
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