Prussing publishes new text, Optimal Spacecraft Trajectories
After 30 years of teaching AE 508, Optimal Space Trajectories, a course that he developed, John Prussing figured he had enough material to write a book. And so he did.
The text, Optimal Spacecraft Trajectories, published by Oxford University Press, should be available in this country by February. The book explores the theory and applications of spacecraft trajectories that use the least amount of propellant to get to their destinations.
“I’d been teaching this class, and I had a bunch of lecture notes. It seemed like a natural thing,” Prussing, emeritus professor Aerospace Engineering at Illinois, said of his latest work. “This book evolved from developing and teaching the course every other year since 1988. The content is a combination of my own research and that of others, and the book is both a graduate textbook and a scholarly reference book. It is available in hardback and paperback editions and as an e-book.”
Prussing’s latest work evolved in much the same way as Orbital Mechanics, a widely-used text that he wrote with Bruce Conway, also an AE emeritus professor. Resulting from Prussing and Conway co-teaching a course, the 1993 book has been used as a text in many universities and can be found in hundreds of libraries all over the world. A second, revised and expanded edition was published in 2012.
As a graduate-level text, the latest book may not reach as large an audience as the earlier work, but the new venture fills a niche, Prussing believes. “There isn’t anything quite like it available, so who knows? It could be popular.”