|Author||: Vladimir A. Chobotov|
Orbital mechanics by Vladimir A. Chobotov.
Designed to be used as a graduate student textbook and a ready reference for the busy professional, this third edition of “Orbital Mechanics is structured so that you can easily look up the things you need to know. This edition includes more recent developments in space exploration (e.g. Galileo, Cassini, Mars Odyssey missions). Also, the chapter on space debris was rewritten to reflect new developments in that area. The well-organized chapters cover every basic aspect of orbital mechanics, from celestial relationships to the problems of space debris.
The book is an excellent text on the foundations of orbit mechanics. This is immediately obvious, especially when one notices the tight adherence to the central force approximation of the gravitational field of the sun, planets etc. Basically, this book repeats the unconscious claim that representing physical phenomena with insupportable rules and methods instead of using the conventionally accepted law of gravitation continues to be the way to do this work today. This avoids the challenging problems of employing product intergral representations of the asundry gravitational fields of the sun, planets, moons etc. The kernel function of such product integral representations is the familiar inverse distance squared function. One, finally, has to invert this first kind integral equation with today’s unreliable methods to invert these ill-posed problems. However, collapsing the representation of these asundry gravitational fields to a central force fields with one parameter is widely accepted. Furthermore, such adherence to this naive approach dramatically adds to the cost of tracking satellites and maneuvering these satellites so as to maintain functionality. People claim they want to save costs, but when it gets down to the nitty-gritty, they back-off. And, whenever asteroids or comets are sighted on critical near earth trajectories, I suggest that all of pray or whatever tight situation behavior we choose to employ because the casual rejection of the rigorous application of scientific laws and numerical methods will not protect us. The book provides a fine review of the classical methods that were developed in the centuries since Newton. I myself would prefer a more casual presentation rather than the elaborate development of methods I regard as being on their way to extinction. Dennis Phillips