Relativistic rocket motion via Minkowski's formalism
Abstract
A phenomenological analysis of the motion of particles with variable rest masses is presented, leading to a general equation of motion for such a physical system in Minkowski's formalism. The use of a general Lorentz transformation permits that equation to be written in quasilinear form; accordingly, approximate stepwise general solutions can be obtained in order to build an integration procedure for the general case. A completely linear fourvector differential equation is obtained when the rocket and exhaust gas velocities are colinear. In this case, reworking of the equation leads to Ackeret's (1947) equation of motion.
 Publication:

Journal of Guidance Control Dynamics
 Pub Date:
 August 1983
 DOI:
 10.2514/3.19834
 Bibcode:
 1983JGCD....6..311B
 Keywords:

 Equations Of Motion;
 Minkowski Space;
 Particle Motion;
 Phenomenology;
 Relativistic Velocity;
 Rocket Exhaust;
 Collinearity;
 Lorentz Transformations;
 Vector Analysis;
 Astrodynamics