 x Characteristic energy Encyclopedia
In astrodynamics
Astrodynamics
Orbital mechanics or astrodynamics is the application of ballistics and celestial mechanics to the practical problems concerning the motion of rockets and other spacecraft. The motion of these objects is usually calculated from Newton's laws of motion and Newton's law of universal gravitation. It...

a characteristic energy ( ), a form of specific energy
Specific energy
Specific energy is defined as the energy per unit mass. Common metric units are J/kg. It is an intensive property. Contrast this with energy, which is an extensive property. There are two main types of specific energy: potential energy and specific kinetic energy. Others are the gray and sievert,...

, is a measure of the energy required for an interplanetary mission that requires attaining an excess orbital velocity
Orbital velocity
Orbital velocity can refer to the following:* The orbital speed of a body in a gravitational field.* The velocity of particles due to wave motion, in particular in wind waves....

over an escape velocity
Escape velocity
In physics, escape velocity is the speed at which the kinetic energy plus the gravitational potential energy of an object is zero gravitational potential energy is negative since gravity is an attractive force and the potential is defined to be zero at infinity...

required for additional orbital maneuver
Orbital maneuver
In spaceflight, an orbital maneuver is the use of propulsion systems to change the orbit of a spacecraft.For spacecraft far from Earth—for example those in orbits around the Sun—an orbital maneuver is called a deep-space maneuver .-delta-v:...

s. The unit of the characteristic energy is km
Kilometre
The kilometre is a unit of length in the metric system, equal to one thousand metres and is therefore exactly equal to the distance travelled by light in free space in of a second...

2s
Second
The second is a unit of measurement of time, and is the International System of Units base unit of time. It may be measured using a clock....

-2.

Characteristic energy can be computed as: where is the orbital velocity
Orbital velocity
Orbital velocity can refer to the following:* The orbital speed of a body in a gravitational field.* The velocity of particles due to wave motion, in particular in wind waves....

when the orbital distance tends to infinity. Note that, since the kinetic energy is one half m C3 is in fact equal to twice the magnitude of the specific orbital energy
Specific orbital energy
In the gravitational two-body problem, the specific orbital energy \epsilon\,\! of two orbiting bodies is the constant sum of their mutual potential energy and their total kinetic energy , divided by the reduced mass...

( ) of the escaping object.

## Parabolic trajectory

For a spacecraft that is leaving the central body
Central body
In astrodynamics a central body is a body that is being orbited by an secondary body, or satellite .The central body is properly referred to as the primary body.Under standard assumptions in astrodynamics:...

(e.g. earth) on a parabolic trajectory
Parabolic trajectory
In astrodynamics or celestial mechanics a parabolic trajectory is a Kepler orbit with the eccentricity equal to 1. When moving away from the source it is called an escape orbit, otherwise a capture orbit...

: ## Hyperbolic trajectory

For a spacecraft that is leaving the central body
Central body
In astrodynamics a central body is a body that is being orbited by an secondary body, or satellite .The central body is properly referred to as the primary body.Under standard assumptions in astrodynamics:...

on a hyperbolic trajectory
Hyperbolic trajectory
In astrodynamics or celestial mechanics a hyperbolic trajectory is a Kepler orbit with the eccentricity greater than 1. Under standard assumptions a body traveling along this trajectory will coast to infinity, arriving there with hyperbolic excess velocity relative to the central body. Similarly to...

: where: is standard gravitational parameter
Standard gravitational parameter
In astrodynamics, the standard gravitational parameter μ of a celestial body is the product of the gravitational constant G and the mass M of the body.\mu=GM \ The SI units of the standard gravitational parameter are m3s−2....

, is length of semi-major axis
Semi-major axis
The major axis of an ellipse is its longest diameter, a line that runs through the centre and both foci, its ends being at the widest points of the shape...

of orbit
Orbit
In physics, an orbit is the gravitationally curved path of an object around a point in space, for example the orbit of a planet around the center of a star system, such as the Solar System...

's hyperbola
Hyperbola
In mathematics a hyperbola is a curve, specifically a smooth curve that lies in a plane, which can be defined either by its geometric properties or by the kinds of equations for which it is the solution set. A hyperbola has two pieces, called connected components or branches, which are mirror...

.

## See also

• Specific orbital energy
Specific orbital energy
In the gravitational two-body problem, the specific orbital energy \epsilon\,\! of two orbiting bodies is the constant sum of their mutual potential energy and their total kinetic energy , divided by the reduced mass...

• Orbit
Orbit
In physics, an orbit is the gravitationally curved path of an object around a point in space, for example the orbit of a planet around the center of a star system, such as the Solar System...

• Parabolic trajectory
Parabolic trajectory
In astrodynamics or celestial mechanics a parabolic trajectory is a Kepler orbit with the eccentricity equal to 1. When moving away from the source it is called an escape orbit, otherwise a capture orbit...

• Hyperbolic trajectory
Hyperbolic trajectory
In astrodynamics or celestial mechanics a hyperbolic trajectory is a Kepler orbit with the eccentricity greater than 1. Under standard assumptions a body traveling along this trajectory will coast to infinity, arriving there with hyperbolic excess velocity relative to the central body. Similarly to...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL. 