Rocket science

This was a small C# game exploring planetary mechanics and newtonian physics in 2D space with quite simple graphics. The goal was to provide a light-weight alternative to the Orbiter space sim however Kerbal Space Program fills this niche very well nowadays.


Trajectory Prediction

The selected rocket’s trajectory is predicted every frame. The physics integration runs for a predetermined number of steps with a fixed step size. At each step the rocket’s position is recorded and all planetary influences on this body are recalculated again. As long as the planets don’t move too far and no external forces (thrusters) are acting on the rocket, the predicted trajectory is valid. However, due to the nature of Newton integration, small errors build up over time and the prediction very far into the future are less accurate than the prediction for the near trajectory.