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Fundamentals of Astrodynamics (Dover Books on Aeronautical Engineering) [Paperback]

by Roger R. Bate, Donald D. Mueller, Jerry E. White
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 1, 1971 0486600610 978-0486600611 1
Teaching text developed by U.S. Air Force Academy and designed as a first course emphasizes the universal variable formulation. Develops the basic two-body and n-body equations of motion; orbit determination; classical orbital elements, coordinate transformations; differential correction; more. Includes specialized applications to lunar and interplanetary flight, example problems, exercises. 1971 edition.

Frequently Bought Together

Fundamentals of Astrodynamics (Dover Books on Aeronautical Engineering) + Introduction to Space Dynamics (Dover Books on Aeronautical Engineering) + An Introduction to Celestial Mechanics (Dover Books on Astronomy)
Price for all three: $38.03

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Product Details

  • Series: Dover Books on Aeronautical Engineering
  • Paperback: 455 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; 1 edition (June 1, 1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486600610
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486600611
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 47 people found the following review helpful
While working for NASA/JPL back in the 1970's and 80's, I first used this book as a reference source while doing engineering support for radio astronomy experiments. I recall at the time wishing I'd know of the book a few years earlier while still at the Univ. of Arizona; while a student I would have found plenty of use for it.
Recently I have returned to academia, and find myself making use some of its material for by my lower-division astronomy students. I've come to depend on it for its clearly-written explanations of the various coordinate systems, reference frames and obital dynamics. And I especially like the way it introduces n-body problems and the how they are affected by perturbations. For myself I even make some use of it when doing calindrical calculations.
It is among a handful of reference sources that I find almost continuously useful in so many applications.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Some topics omitted, but still a good book November 23, 2002
This book is a fairly complete overview of planetary mechanics, at least from the standpoint of the Newtonian formulation of the problem, for the authors do not use Lagrangian or Hamiltonian methods. The use of Hamiltonian formulation, via phase space constructions, sheds considerable light on the two-body and the N-body problems, but the reader interested in Hamiltonian mechanics will have to look elsewhere. Also, the authors do not discuss the presence of chaotic dynamics in orbital mechanics, nor are integrability issues discussed. In addition, the current debate over modifications of Newtonian mechanics is not included in the book, due to its time of publication.
But if one wants a practical introduction to Newtonian orbital mechanics that also addresses numerical issues, this would be a good book to begin with. I would recommend the use of a symbolic programming language, such as Mathematica or Maple, to assist in the visualization of the orbits and in the routine computations if one were to use this book as an aid to teaching orbital mechanics. Another good feature of the book is the interjection of historical background and anecdotes at various places in the book. For example, one learns that it was Edmund Halley who was primarily responsible for bringing Newton's discoveries to the world. Newton's work remained idle for twenty years until Halley encouraged Newton to publish his explanation of planetary motion.
The mechanics as outlined in this book is timeless and will continue to be learned by future generations of students as they take up the reigns of human exploration beyond the Moon to the entire solar system.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Considered a GNC handbook by Air Force space types July 22, 1999
By A Customer
Ran into this one in grad school; has an excellent treatment of vector calculus in the appendix. Get this one if you are into orbital mechanics, guidance and nav. It's a short paperback type of book, easy to cart around in a briefcase. All steely-eyed missile men have this one.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent introductory text to the subject June 20, 1998
By A Customer
This work was written by three instructors at the USAF Academy for use as a textbook. It provides an excellent introduction to astrodynamics. A knowledge of calculus and linear algebra is required, but the derivations are quite reasonable. The diagrams are also very good, enabling the reader to visualize complex spatial orientations.
The book's only weakness is its age. Several real-world examples are out-of-date, and the numerical analysis techniques do not reflect the current state-of-the-art.
Nevertheless, this is the best book to start learning astrodynamics, and gives a solid foundation from which to study more advanced texts.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Textbook in need of an overhaul December 21, 2000
This book, the last word on astrodynamics (and the first, incidentally), covers every aspect of orbital mechanics, from Newton's gravitational equation to launch to transfer orbits to aberrational effects. It is clear and thorough. My only caveat is that it its old. A new edition done with the aid of computers, color ink, and more contemporary exercises would go a long way towards clearer understanding.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellant first book August 23, 2003
The book isn't intended to be all things to all people. It covers fundamentals. I have worked in the field and keep two copies ;)
The review of vector mathematics in the appendix is especially useful for non-specialists who want to start studying this topic.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The basics made simple January 30, 2006
Affectionately referred to as BMW (from the author names), this book was the required text for my intro spaceflight mechanics course in college. Not only did I do just about every problem in the book (which helped me blow away the final), but over the next 15 years I kept coming back to it for quick reference. Some of my commercial products contain simple Kepler solvers and orbit integrators that began life in BMW. Compared to other books in this field, it's a deceptively easy read. But I know of at least one rocket destroyed by engineers ignorant of the basics in sections 9.5 and 9.6. Sure, it leaves out chaos and I really wish it used SI rather than imperial units (actually, it favors canonical units, a useful and units-agnostic concept). But BMW is the simplest, most intuitive intro to astrodynamics I've ever seen.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very useful book on Astrodynamics June 8, 2000
By A Customer
If you want to know the science of Astrodynamics read this book. If you work with orbital analysis or orbital mechanics this book for you. For the beginners calculus, Algebra and some geometry knowledge are required otherwise the other aspect are well explained. I like the examples with its solution in this book, it force the reader to understand the principle especially if the subject sometimes is out of our daily vision. I have no problem following up this book, it simple and has all the principle and scientific logic you need to understand the science of space dynamics. It's a very good bargain with its price.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Skip this. Go buy the real SMAD.
I got this on a whim since it's in my field, but this 1970s title really isn't worth it. If you want something for reference that is the industry standard just get the standby:... Read more
Published 14 days ago by Teque5
5.0 out of 5 stars New Edition of this classic coming April 2014
I've seen an advance copy of the new 2014 2nd edition, and other than some intro updates, this classic from Dover is close to the same, however, the new edition is not that much... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Let's Compare Options
5.0 out of 5 stars Good reading.
If you want to go to space you have to know the basics. A gift for the physicist in my life.
Published 3 months ago by Samantha S.
4.0 out of 5 stars The surgeon general has determined that this book is for engineers...
This is a engineering book for students and those of in the SC business coming up to speed on the subject and for reference later. Read the other commentaries for details. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Donald D. Farra
5.0 out of 5 stars Great to make understanding easy!
Everything I was looking for in understanding astrophysics. Great easy to understand read. Walks right thru all the formulas too!
Published 3 months ago by Brad Hottman
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book to learn working orbit mechanics
I am a working spacecraft engineer and also have to say (as some of the other reviews did) that I learned much of the important stuff I needed from this book and keep it as a... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Sealykin
4.0 out of 5 stars The standard for spacecraft dynamic fundamentals
This book is well laid out, and the author begins every section with a bit of history to put everything into perspective. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Jason
5.0 out of 5 stars Kerbal Space Program
I actually bought this to teach myself a bit on astrodynamics to play a videogame. This book gave me some good insight on space flight and I would be lying if I didn't say it... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Corey
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
I've read a lot of text books in my time. An unfortunate number of them were written by people who, while they may know their subject, are not skilled at teaching. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Michael K. Fox
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is badass
Really. First chapter is like an orbital slap to the face but then you tell yourself you're ready for chapter two at which point you get punched in the nuts. Read more
Published 18 months ago by MacV
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