Worlds of David Darling
Encyclopedia of Science
   
Home > Encyclopedia of Science

walking orbit




Also known as a precessing orbit, an orbit in which the orbital plane moves slowly with respect to fixed inertial space. It can be achieved intentionally by choosing the parameters of a spacecraft's orbit so that advantage is taken of some or all of the gravitational influences that give rise to precession. These factors include the deviation from perfect sphericity of a planet and the gravitational influence of other bodies such as the Sun or nearby moons.


Related category

   • CELESTIAL MECHANICS