Flight dynamics: Navigating in space

flight-dynamics-navigating-in-space

ESA’s Flight Dynamics team uses cutting-edge computational techniques to plan, determine and control complex spacecraft trajectories. They apply fundamental physics and mathematics to 21st century spacecraft orbiting Earth and voyaging deep into our Solar System.

The Flight Dynamics team delivers precise orbital determinations enabling ground controllers to know where the spacecraft are located and prepare the manoeuvres to reach their targets like the Moon, Mars, Venus, a comet or a spacecraft constellation. The Flight Dynamics team also conducts mission analysis — they brainstorm about how robotic spacecraft can reach and return data from anywhere in the Solar System.


Flight dynamics scientists work as part of the team operating every ESA mission, whether in low-Earth orbit or soaring deep into our Solar System. They provide precise orbital calculations, determining where the spacecraft are located, which direction they’re facing, where they’re going and how far they’ve travelled.

This information is vital and is used every day not only by the mission controllers but also by supporting teams such as the Estrack station engineer, who have to know where to point their tracking antennas, what time to start ‘listening’ for a signal and how long a spacecraft will be visible.

 

Credit: ESA

If you value what we do here, open your ad-free account and support our journalism.

Share:

Producing content you read on this website takes a lot of time, effort, and hard work. If you value what we do here, select the level of your support and register your account.

Your support makes this project fully self-sustainable and keeps us independent and focused on the content we love to create and share.

All our supporters can browse the website without ads, allowing much faster speeds and a clean interface. Your comments will be instantly approved and you’ll have a direct line of communication with us from within your account dashboard. You can suggest new features and apps and you’ll be able to use them before they go live.

You can choose the level of your support.

Stay kind, vigilant and ready!

$5 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Instant comments
  • Direct communication
  • New features and apps suggestions
  • Early access to new apps and features

$50 /year

$10 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Instant comments
  • Direct communication
  • New features and apps suggestions
  • Early access to new apps and features

$100 /year

$25 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Instant comments
  • Direct communication
  • New features and apps suggestions
  • Early access to new apps and features

$200 /year

You can also support us by sending us a one-off payment using PayPal:

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.