As they tumble through space, objects like spacecraft move in dynamical ways. Understanding and predicting the equations that represent that motion is critical to the safety and efficacy of spacecraft mission development. Kinetics: Modeling the Motions of Spacecraft trains your skills in topics like rigid body angular momentum and kinetic energy expression shown in a coordinate frame agnostic manner, single and dual rigid body systems tumbling without the forces of external torque, how differential gravity across a rigid body is approximated to the first order to study disturbances in both the attitude and orbital motion, and how these systems change when general momentum exchange devices are introduced.
After this course, you will be able to...
*Derive from basic angular momentum formulation the rotational equations of motion and predict and determine torque-free motion equilibria and associated stabilities
* Develop equations of motion for a rigid body with multiple spinning components and derive and apply the gravity gradient torque
* Apply the static stability conditions of a dual-spinner configuration and predict changes as momentum exchange devices are introduced
* Derive equations of motion for systems in which various momentum exchange devices are present
Please note: this is an advanced course, best suited for working engineers or students with college-level knowledge in mathematics and physics.

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Continuous Systems and Rigid Bodies

The dynamical equations of motion are developed using classical Eulerian and Newtonian mechanics. Emphasis is placed on rigid body angular momentum and kinetic energy expression that are shown in a coordinate frame agnostic manner. The development begins with deformable shapes (continuous systems) which are then frozen into rigid objects, and the associated equations are thus simplified.