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In this section we will learn the basics of orbital geometry and the classical orbital elements commonly used to launch things into space and how we can use Python to perform these calculations.

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 Rocket Science Using Python

Learn the fundamental equations used in aerospace science using the Python programming language. In these Python tutorials, we will calculate the required variables needed to launch spacecraft into orbit around Earth or to a distant planet and then we will see how Python can be used to track the International Space Station (ISS). We will use Python to calculate the escape velocity for each planetary body and other fun rocket science projects.

 How to Calculate Orbital Elements of a Spacecraft Using Python

International Space Station (source - NASA)
In this tutorial, I will introduce you to some basic rocket science equations and then show you how to calculate them using the Python programming language. In this tutorial I will be focusing on the International Space Station for our calculations. The results of our calculations can then be compared to those provided by the European Space Agency, NASA and the Heaven's Above websites.

The International Space Station, or ISS, is the largest orbiting space station ever built by man. It is the result of the combined efforts of several nations, over the course of several years to construct. It was initially launched into orbit on 20 November 1998. It orbits the Earth at an altitude of 370-460 km. It is approximately 109 meters wide, 74 meters long and 45 meters high, with a mass of approximately 925,335 pounds (419,725 kilograms). The ISS has a habitable volume of about 13,696 cubic feet (388 cubic meters), not including visiting vehicles. It has an orbital inclination of 51.6° and an orbital velocity of 7.6-7.7 km/s (around 27 500 km/h).

Johnathan Nicolosi - 30 Sep 2018