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Orbital Mechanics for Engineering Students, Second Edition (Aerospace Engineering) Hardcover – November 9, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0123747785 ISBN-10: 0123747783 Edition: 2nd

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Orbital Mechanics for Engineering Students, Second Edition (Aerospace Engineering) + Fundamentals of Astrodynamics (Dover Books on Aeronautical Engineering) + Fundamentals of Aerodynamics (Anderson)
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Product Details

  • Series: Aerospace Engineering
  • Hardcover: 744 pages
  • Publisher: Butterworth-Heinemann; 2 edition (November 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0123747783
  • ISBN-13: 978-0123747785
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 7.6 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #722,487 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

TECHNOLOGY/Aeronautics & Astronautics

TECHNOLOGY/Engineering/Mechanical

Orbital Mechanics for Engineering Students, Second Edition

Howard D. Curtis

"...Professor Curtis has crafted a text remarkably complete in detail and rigor for an introductory book. He communicates clearly in detail using text, illustration and exhaustive examples. These subjects typically challenge students, particularly during their initial exposure to the material. The superb examples will be extremely valuable to undergraduates and distinguishes this text from many others. This book should be given serious consideration for any undergraduate course in orbital mechanics or spacecraft dynamics." Ralph A. Sandfry, United States Air Force Academy, Journal of Guidance, Control, and Dynamics, vol 31, #2, AIAA.

All the necessary tools? theory, practical examples and computational procedures? to learn orbital mechanics in one volume.

Orbital mechanics is a cornerstone subject for aerospace engineering students. Maintaining the focus of the first edition, the author provides the foundation needed to understand the subject and proceed to advanced topics. Starting with the solution of the two-body problem and formulas for the different kinds of orbits, the text moves on to Kepler's equations, orbits in three dimensions, orbital elements from observations, orbital maneuvers, orbital rendezvous and interplanetary missions. This is followed by an introduction to spacecraft dynamics and a final chapter on basic rocket dynamics. The author's teach-by-example approach emphasizes the analytical procedures and computer-implemented algorithms required by today's students. There are a large number of worked examples, illustrations, end of chapter exercises (with answers) as well as many MATLAB® programs for use in homework and projects. The text can be used for one and two semester courses in space mechanics.

Key Features

. A new section on numerical integration methods applicable to space mechanics problems

. A more centralized and improved discussion of coordinate systems and Euler angle sequences

. An expanded development of relative motion in orbit

. A new section on quaternions

. New worked-out examples, illustrations and homework problems

. New algorithms, MATLAB® scripts and simulations

. Instructor's manual and lecture slides available online

.Included online testing and assessment component helps students assess their knowledge of the topics

 

Howard D. Curtis received his PhD from Purdue University's School of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is Professor and former Chair of Aerospace Engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida, USA. He is a licensed Professional Engineer and an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

I recently read the 2nd edition of this book.
G. Chastain
It has very good illustrations, somthing that's necessary to foster three dimensional intuition.
L. G. Benson
This book was my introduction to orbital mechanics and serves as a great foundation.
RR

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By G. Chastain on November 29, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I recently read the 2nd edition of this book. Though I am more advanced in my experience and knowledge of much of the material covered, I picked up this book for a great deal and thought it would be interesting to brush up on some basics in a few areas. I also always enjoy seeing the different approaches used by various authors when covering a particular topic within such a subject area. I must say that this is one of the best introductions to orbital mechanics and astrodynamics that I've ever come across.

There are a few minor errors in the 2nd edition and the errata sheet is available at the publisher's website if you look for it. Again, they are few in number and very minor. I have read many very technical books from advanced dynamics to advanced radar theory and I can tell you it is rare to come across a text that has absolutely no errors, regardless of how many peers review the work prior to publication. In writing many technical works of my own in my career, including complex mathematical algorithms, having those works peer reviewed, as well as participating in the peer review of others' works, I have noticed a phenomenon at work that helps to ensure that at least some errors eventually make it through to publication. When you are intimately familiar with a subject, I believe the brain will occassionally read what is supposed to be on the page rather than what actually is. However, the few errors that are present (less than two pages, large type and large line spacing on the errata sheet) are more than overshadowed by the overall quality and content of the book.

I urge you to ignore the personal attacks of one reviewer and consider the content and worthiness of the work.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Brian Long VINE VOICE on January 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Curtis deserves credit for managing to make the material described easy enough to swallow that you can basically jump into this material even cold turkey. The dialogue and derviations are easily followable, and theres enough of an intro on kinematics and a review of some of the basic geometry and algebra that you wont require a second textbook to translate the first.

The problems arrise in the examples. While I appluad the majority of them, its readily apparent that they were performed by a assistant or a student, as theres just enough errors to radically confuse aynone trying to copy the problem to get an understanding of the process. And while the examples are plentuiful enough to be incredibly useful, they cover only the barest bones. I can understand not wanting to spend 1/3 of the book performing example problems, a few of the more complex subjects would've been greatly assistaed by just a handful of problems that involved more than just perfect universes with circular, coplanar orbits using point masses. And even the homework problems are no respite, as some of the chapters had a grand total of 8 problems, meaning at most 4 had in-book defined answers for personal study.

Overall, for such a dry and complex subject matter, this book is extremely useful, but just 20-30 more pages of problems and exmaples would've been a termendous boon.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book gives a perfect and flawless analysis in the field of orbital mechanics and dynamics of space vehicles such as the Space Shuttle Orbiters
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In my undergrad as an aerospace engineer, I ran into some really poor books, but it's textbooks like Curtis that really help you understand the subject that are simply amazing. I like Anderson's Introduction to Fluid Dynamics and Introduction to Flight, but there's nothing that beats this book, in my opinion. (Note: I have the second edition, which I hear is way better than the first)

Pros:

-Very clear and concise derivations
-Exercises line up well with sample problems
-BUT they aren't all "replace the numbers" questions
-Clearly identifies variables, which can sometimes get confusing with the variable overload that is orbital mechanics
-Truely a complete high level overview of almost every facet of modern orbital mechanics
-Depth where you need in ton the most important subjects, like the basics
-Last but DEFINITELY not least: VERY lightweight (way less than SMAD!) and the price, making it easy to bring to class

Cons:

-If you want glossy pages, this isn't for you. I had a friend spill coffee on it, and there was no chance of a revival
-Does very little in the way of translunar orbits, and is missing the ICBM information from Fundamentals of Astrodynamics, which I used as a companion to this course
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By RR on August 18, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Both the first and second edition use elsevierdirect.com as their companion site. The errata can be found there as well as the MATLAB code for downloading. I think the book mentions this, but it's definitely a plus to have a website associated with one's book.

This book was my introduction to orbital mechanics and serves as a great foundation. As many of the bad reviews have mentioned, it may contain errata, but there are no other books out there that quite cover an introduction to orbital mechanics like this one written by Curtis. The content is there and easily understood; his book almost makes up for what he lacks as a teacher.
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