Exploring Orbits and Sub-Orbits
The initial topic first employs the spreadsheet to
explore two orbits, a stationary equatorial orbit about the Earth and Earth's orbit
about the Sun. The positions of Earth in a single orbit about the Sun during the
period January 3, 2008 through January 3, 2009 are obtained followed by a discussion
on systems for expressing the passage of time.
In the second topic, a spreadsheet model is made of Radarsat, a satellite in polar orbit about Earth that
provides radar images of Earth's surface to ground stations.
In the third topic, the spreadsheet is employed to model the sub-orbital shelling of Paris in
WW1 and to demonstrate the effect of Earth's rotation and curvature
on aiming a gun for a distant target.
In the last topic a database is developed for the launch of a passenger-carrying
Earth Orbiter to the International Space Station. This database expands on an Internet contribution
by William Harwood and attributed to NASA. The contribution has the appearance
of representing a detailed timeline of an actual Orbiter path from its Launch to
MECO, Main Engine Cut Off.
Results from the expanded database are then employed
to model the sub orbit of the External Fuel Tank from its separation from Orbiter
to its splash down in the Indian Ocean.
The topic concludes with
comments on Newton's thought experiment and on Gerald Bull's dream of employing
a cannon to launch a satellite into an Earth orbit from Earth's surface.
The topics of this chapter can be accessed by clicking their names.