Ed Meek grew up in Western Michigan prior to getting into a serious car accident April 4, 1989. After his accident Ed spent two weeks admitted to Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Ed spent another two weeks at Mary Free Bed Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan where he underwent substantial rehabilitation therapy for the traumatic brain injury and leg injuries that he sustained as a result of his accident. After his release from the hospital Ed underwent another six months of outpatient rehabilitation therapy. During this time Ed worked hard to reconstruct his life prior to the accident and ended up graduating with his class at Hudsonville High School in June of 1989.
Ed struggled with physical and mental limitations from his accident and subsequent traumatic brain injury for several years after his accident. But during this time he continued to pursue his dream of one day being the first in his family to earn his college degree.
In August of 1998 Ed graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona with a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering with the minor topics of study of Computer Science and Mathematics. In 2007 Ed took his education a step further and graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University World Wide Campus with a Masters degree in Aeronautical Science with a Specialization in Space Studies. For his Masters degree Ed not only graduated Sumo Cum Laude (4.0 Grade Point Average), but he was also awarded a research grant from Embry-Riddle to assist with his Masters Thesis which was entitled “An Analysis and Comparison of Orbit Rendezvous Techniques for Spacecraft Flying in Low Earth Orbit”.
Today, Ed lives with his wife and two sons in Fairmont, West Virginia where he is employed by NASA (TASC contractor) working on Verification and Validation for Human Space Flight. Ed is a living testament that you can have triumphs after extreme tragedy.
In this thesis three methods for solving Lambert’s orbit rendezvous problem are compared. Methods that use the relative states between vehicles to calculate Lambert transfers are the easiest methods to use. But these methods are only applicable in certain scenarios.