Orbital and Launch Mechanics Training Fundamentals

Commitment 4 days, 7-8 hours a day.
Language English
User Ratings Average User Rating 4.8 See what learners said
Delivery Options Instructor-Led Onsite, Online, and Classroom Live


Every maneuver in space is counterintuitive. Fly your rocket ship into a 100-mile circular orbit. Put on the brakes and you will speed up! Mash down on the accelerator and you will slow down! Throw a banana peel out the window and 45 minutes later it will come back and slap you in the face! In this comprehensive 4-day Orbital and Launch Mechanics Training Fundamentals short course, Our Instructor uses 400 clever color graphics to clarify these and a dozen other puzzling mysteries associated with spacecraft maneuvers. He also provides you with a few simple one-page derivations using real-world inputs to illustrate the concepts under study.

  • 4 days of Orbital and Launch Mechanics Training Fundamentals with an expert instructor
  • Orbital and Launch Mechanics Fundamentals Electronic Course Guide
  • Certificate of Completion
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee



After completing this Orbital and Launch Mechanics course, students will be able to:

  • How do we launch satellites into orbit and maneuver them to new locations?
  • How do today’s designers fashion performance-optimal constellations of satellites swarming the sky?
  • How do planetary swingby maneuvers provide such amazing gains in performance?
  • How can we design the best multi-stage rocket for a particular mission?
  • What are libration point orbits? Were they really discovered in 1772?
  • What are JPL’s superhighways in space? How were they discovered? How are they revolutionizing the exploration of space?
  • We can adapt this Orbital and Launch Mechanics Training Fundamentals course to your group’s background and work requirements at little to no added cost.
  • If you are familiar with some aspects of this Orbital and Launch Mechanics Fundamentals course, we can omit or shorten their discussion.
  • We can adjust the emphasis placed on the various topics or build the Orbital and Launch Mechanics course around the mix of technologies of interest to you (including technologies other than those included in this outline).
  • If your background is nontechnical, we can exclude the more technical topics, include the topics that may be of special interest to you (e.g., as a manager or policy-maker), and present the Orbital and Launch Mechanics course in a manner understandable to lay audiences.

The target audience for this Orbital and Launch Mechanics course:

  • All

Orbital and Launch Mechanics Training Fundamentals

The knowledge and skills that a learner must have before attending this Orbital and Launch Mechanics Fundamentals course are:

  • N/A


  1. The Essence of Astrodynamics. Kepler’s amazing laws. Newton’s clever generalizations. Launch azimuths and ground-trace geometry. Orbital perturbations.
  2. Gliding into Orbit. Isaac Newton’s vis viva equation. Gravity wells. The six classical Keplerian orbital elements.
  3. Rocket Propulsion Fundamentals. The rocket equation. Building efficient liquid and solid rockets. Performance-optimal boosters. Multi-stage rocket design. Orbital and Launch Mechanics Training Fundamentals
  4. Russian and American Rockets. Russia’s magnificent Soyuz booster. The deal of a lifetime turned down cold. Optimal ground operations. The amazing benefits of economies of scale.
  5. Powered Flight Maneuvers. The Hohmann transfer maneuver. Multi-impulse and low-thrust maneuvers. Plane-change maneuvers. The bi-elliptic transfer. On-orbit rendezvous. Performance-optimal flights to geo sync.
  6. Orbit Selection Trades. Birdcage constellations. Geostationary satellites and their on-orbit perturbations. ACE-orbit constellations. Libration point orbits. Halo orbits. Interplanetary spacecraft trajectories. Mars-mission opportunities. Deep-space missions.
  7. Optimal Constellation Design. Constellations, large and small. John Walker’s rosette configurations. John Drain’s elliptical orbit constellations. Space eggs simulations.
  8. Zipping Along JPL’s Superhighways in Space. Libration-point orbits. Equipotential surfaces. 3-dimensional manifolds. Ballistic capture in space. JPL’s Genesis mission. Capturing ancient stardust. Stepping stones everywhere. Coasting along tomorrow’s unpaved freeways in the sky.
Orbital and Launch Mechanics Training FundamentalsOrbital and Launch Mechanics Training Fundamentals Course Wrap-Up