How space travel is revolutionized with this one weird trick from chaos theory (Wondrous Mathematics)

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Description "The easy part is getting to space. The hard part is staying there." Crash course on orbital mechanics and introduction to low-energy transfers.
Kids session No
Tags space, mathematics, chaos-theory
Person organizing Iblech
Language en - English
en - English
Other sessions...


Starts at 2016/12/30 14:00
Ends at 2016/12/30 14:50
Duration 50 minutes
Location Hall C.1

We'll start with a crash course in orbital mechanics: How can you reach an object which is flying just in front of you? How can you efficiently change orbits? How do swing-by maneuvers work? Why is the sun so hard to reach, even though the sun exerts an enormous pull?

Then we'll talk about low-energy transfers, a new kind of trajectory design pioneered by Edward Belbruno which allows for vastly reduced energy expenditure, making it possible to reach almost any point in the solar system with reasonable effort. These trajectories employ ideas from chaos theory. The Hiten spacecraft, the first Japanese lunar probe, was saved thanks to those kinds of trajectories. Before you get too excited please be warned that there is a catch: The price for the low energy usage is that the travel time is increased (for instance from days to months).

Please note that the talk starts at 14:00 and not as 13:45 as previously announced.

Further reading:

Talk-related resources: