MadSci Network: Astronomy

Subject: How are interplanetary space craft navigated?

Date: Thu Dec 2 16:17:44 1999
Posted by Fred Flemming
Grade level: grad (science) School: No school entered.
City: Allentown State/Province: PA Country: USA
Area of science: Astronomy
ID: 944173064.As

Newspaper accounts of the recent loss of the Mars Climate Orbiter suggest 
that the space craft's "handlers" had no direct measurements of its 
position along its course but rather were using some form of dead 
reckoning based on calculated thrust values (which had a units conversion 
error).  Is the position and course of unmanned spacecraft measured or 

Re: How are interplanetary space craft navigated?

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