Talk:1356: Orbital Mechanics

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 06:21, 16 April 2014 by Lcarsos (talk | contribs)
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I just put in a first attempt at the explanation. Could do with links to pages regarding KSP, etc, etc. (Or rewrite entirely how it ought to be done, of course.) Also, if anyone knows for sure that "aim nose at destination, fire retros", as seen in the film Gravity, would or would not give the desired effect, that'd be useful to clarify or dismiss. From my own experience with the Kerbals, it wouldn't (never mind all the other broad assumptions made in that otherwise spectacular film ), but KSP also rather fudges away the N-body problem, artificially. 05:38, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

You are correct that "aim nose, fire retros" doesn't work in reality. KSP fudges the n-body problem by putting the planets and moons on tracks, and then changing you into a different 2-body problem when you cross into a smaller hill sphere than the one you were in. The maneuver node system does a little bit of n-body work when you get a maneuver close to another body, but you'll notice that when the ship actually crosses into the other hill sphere the trajectory for the maneuver goes weird. It's a rather clever optimization for a simulator like KSP. lcarsos_a (talk) 06:21, 16 April 2014 (UTC)