# Space Flight Engineers

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Space flight engineers frequently use calculus when planning lengthy missions. To launch an exploratory probe, they must consider the different orbiting velocities of the Earth and the planet the probe is targeted for, as well as other gravitational influences like the sun and the moon. Calculus allows each of thHow Calculus is Used in Astronomy Written by: Hannah Whiteoak • Edited by: RC Davison Published Jul 29, 2011 • Related Guides: Astronomers | Fuel Calculus is used in all areas of physics - and astronomy is no exception. Astronomers regularly use calculus to study the motions of planets, meteorites and spaceships. Read on to see examples of how calculus is used in astronomy. An Essential Element Calculus is the mathematical language that describes change. One of the most common uses of calculus is to find the rate at which the position of a moving body changes with time. The laws of planetary motion that are commonly used by astronomers to calculate orbits are derived using calculus. An astronomer who wants to send a rocket into space uses calculus to work out how much fuel the rocket needs to accelerate to the correct velocity. These are just some examples of the ways in which calculus and astronomy work together. How to Bring Your Rocket Up to Speed Space travel is extremely important to astronomy. Space-based telescopes and probes, which collect huge amounts of information about the Solar System and beyond, are launched into space using powerful rockets. The rockets accelerate the spacecraft until it is going fast enough to leave the Earth's gravitational pull and set off on its journey. Once the spacecraft is in space, the rocket thrusters are used to control its speed and directionose variables to be accurately taken into account. A rocket burns fuel in a combustion chamber to produce exhaust gases. The pressure in