KSP Eccentricity Calculator

KSP Eccentricity Calculator

KSP Eccentricity Calculator


Q1: What is eccentricity in KSP? A1: Eccentricity in KSP refers to a measure of how elliptical or circular an orbit is. It quantifies how much an orbit deviates from a perfect circle. An eccentricity of 0 represents a perfectly circular orbit, while higher values indicate more elliptical orbits.

Q2: How is eccentricity calculated in KSP? A2: Eccentricity (e) in KSP can be calculated using the following formula:

e = (a – b) / (a + b)


  • e = Eccentricity
  • a = Semi-major axis (half of the longest diameter of the ellipse)
  • b = Semi-minor axis (half of the shortest diameter of the ellipse)

You can find these values in the orbit information when you right-click on an orbiting object in KSP.

Q3: What does an eccentricity value of 0.0 mean in KSP? A3: An eccentricity value of 0.0 indicates a perfectly circular orbit. The closer the eccentricity is to 0, the more circular the orbit is.

Q4: What does an eccentricity value greater than 0 but less than 1 mean in KSP? A4: An eccentricity value greater than 0 but less than 1 indicates an elliptical orbit. The higher the eccentricity value, the more elongated or eccentric the orbit is. An eccentricity of 1 represents a parabolic orbit, while values greater than 1 signify hyperbolic orbits.

Q5: How can I change the eccentricity of an orbit in KSP? A5: You can change the eccentricity of an orbit in KSP by adjusting the velocity of your spacecraft at different points in its orbit. For example, increasing velocity at periapsis (the closest point to the celestial body) will raise eccentricity, while decreasing velocity at periapsis will lower eccentricity. Using maneuvers like prograde and retrograde burns will help you control eccentricity.

Q6: Why is eccentricity important in KSP? A6: Eccentricity is important in KSP because it affects the shape and characteristics of an orbit. Different missions and objectives may require specific eccentricities. Circular orbits are often more stable and efficient for certain tasks, while elliptical orbits are useful for others, such as interplanetary transfers.

Q7: How can I achieve a specific eccentricity for my mission in KSP? A7: To achieve a specific eccentricity, you can plan your maneuvers using the maneuver node system in KSP. Adjust your prograde and retrograde burns at the appropriate points in your orbit to change the eccentricity as needed. Experiment with these burns until you achieve your desired eccentricity.

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Q8: What are some real-life examples of missions that use different eccentricities? A8: In real-life space missions, eccentricity is carefully planned to achieve specific goals. For example, geostationary communication satellites are placed in circular orbits (e=0) to remain stationary relative to the Earth’s surface. Interplanetary missions like those to Mars use elliptical orbits (e>0) to efficiently transfer between planets.

These FAQs should help you understand the concept of eccentricity in KSP and how it plays a crucial role in mission planning and orbital mechanics.

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