Fundamentals of Astrodynamics (Anglais) Broché – janvier 1972
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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.
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.
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 Several real-world examples are out-of-date, and the numerical analysis techniques do not reflect the current state-of-the-art.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.