In principle, there has been no problem in handling the dynamics of systems of rigid bodies since the time of Euler. Those who might have needed to describe multi-body systems could use the free-body approach and write rotational and translational equations separately for each body, with proper attention to the interaction forces and torques among them, or they could turn to the alternative general formalism of Lagrange. Actually, there was little need for them to do either until recently, for there was not much that could be done with the equations after they were written except under very special circumstances, such as in problems that could be linearized in the dependent variables.
KeywordsAttachment Point Interaction Torque Translational Equation Relative Translation Flexible Spacecraft
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