Author: Om Gupta

Intro to Orbital Mechanics

Introduction According to Wikipedia, Orbital mechanics or astrodynamics is the application of ballistics and celestial mechanics to the practical problems concerning the motion of rockets and other spacecraft. In simpler words, it’s the field of study that allows us to calculate where and when something travelling through space will end up, and the changes in…


Building Efficient Engines

The cost of fuel is one of the primary reasons why air travel is as expensive as it is. A Boeing 777 flying across the Atlantic can burn as much as 50 tonnes of fuel over the course of its 7-hour flight. Even a 10% increase in engine efficiency could save 5 tonnes of fuel…


Rockets and Propulsion

Putting the “rocket” in rocket science Rocket engines are at the heart of every past, current, and near future spacecraft. The principle they work off is quite simple to understand. A conventional rocket engine combusts the propellant, converting the chemical energy stored in it into mechanical energy. This energy accelerates the combustion products out of…


The Gas Turbine Engine

Introduction Whenever you last sat on the window seat in an aircraft, especially if you had a window seat, you probably paid one good look to the engine, the little cylinder-frustum thingy on the wing.  Look up photos of the Concorde, and you won’t see such an engine at all. Whatever the case may be,…


Efficiency in High Speed Flight

The need for speed Ever since the inception of flight, we have been looking for ways to make air travel safer, cheaper and faster. Even though the former two of these goals is being expanded upon with each new generation of aircraft, the latter has been seemingly ignored lately. The last (and basically only) commercial…


Aerodynamics in aerospace

Why aerodynamics? There isn’t any air in space for the most part, but air is still relevant when you’re trying to get something into space because this pesky thing we humans call the atmosphere likes to get in the way. During launch, a rocket has to deal with the crushing pressure from high speed flight,…


Aerospace 101 Week 1: Introduction

Rockets are the backbone of space exploration. They are our gateway to space, giving us access to the universe outside of the little bubble of our planet. A successful space program is in this age the hallmark of technological advancement, of cutting edge engineering and innovation, and there’s a reason for that. Rockets are some…


Orbits and getting to orbit

What even is an orbit? Interesting question. Let’s see what Google has to say about this. Hmm. That make sense to you? It didn’t to me. If an object is following a “gravitationally curved trajectory” and is under the influence of gravity, why doesn’t it just fall down? Why does it follow this trajectory that…