astrodynamics

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Astrodynamics is the study of the motion of rockets, missiles, and space vehicles, as determined from Sir Isaac Newton's laws of motion and his law of universal gravitation. It is a specific and distinct branch of celestial mechanics, which focuses more broadly on Newtonian gravitation and includes the orbital motions of artificial and natural astronomical bodies such as planets, moons, and comets. Astrodynamics is principally concerned with spacecraft trajectories, from launch to atmospheric re-entry, including all orbital maneuvers, orbit plane changes, and interplanetary transfers.