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Dear Friends,
Is there any relation between inclination of injected orbit and the launch site ?

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  • $\begingroup$ Hi and welcome to the Space Exploration stack exchange. People like to see some evidence of prior research here. I suggest you take the tour space.stackexchange.com/tour . Also, check out the the related questions list that has appeared on this questions page or do a online search if you are stuck. $\endgroup$ – Puffin Jun 5 '17 at 18:16
  • $\begingroup$ Just to illustrate the last comment and get you thinking on how to improve the question, the easy answer is "Yes, there is a relation, sometimes." If you want a better answer you will need to improve the question. $\endgroup$ – Puffin Jun 5 '17 at 18:18
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    $\begingroup$ It's really not a good idea to edit a question and completely change its meaning. Best to add a new question. $\endgroup$ – Organic Marble Jun 6 '17 at 14:48
  • $\begingroup$ I agree: the edit completely changed the substance of the question. $\endgroup$ – ChrisR Jun 6 '17 at 16:59
  • $\begingroup$ I downvoted as in my opinion this question does not show any research effort. Similar have been asked before, and plenty of things to read online. $\endgroup$ – Przemek D Jun 9 '17 at 15:43
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Yes. While you can change your inclination over a burn, in a classic "plain" launch your starting latitude is the inclination peaks where your orbit is directly above them relative to the launch site location. If you launch from Cape Canaveral and go "straight" from it with no immediate major change in longitude, the antipode will be the opposite coordinates, so 30°N is 30° south. And if you do have a change in longitude it makes your orbit even more inclined. If you do an inclination changing burn in ascent you can avoid any major inclination from launch sites' latitudes.

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For a direct injection into orbit (i.e. no dog leg later), then by simple geometry, the orbit inclination will be greater than or equal to the absolute value of the latitude of the location of that injection, which is very close to the latitude of the launch site. A launch azimuth of zero (due East or due West) would result in an inclination equal to the latitude.

There may be further constraints on the inclination due to the allowed launch azimuth to avoid overflight of populated areas, or to provide telemetry coverage with available downtrack ground stations.


A nice illustration of dog leg maneuver during launch can be found in this answer, and dog legs are mentioned here, here, and here.

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  • $\begingroup$ Could you elaborate on what you mean by a “dog leg” maneuver? $\endgroup$ – Paul Nov 28 '17 at 23:44
  • $\begingroup$ When you cross the equator some portion of an orbit later, you can do a maneuver to change the orbit inclination to a lower value than the launch latitude. $\endgroup$ – Mark Adler Nov 28 '17 at 23:54
  • $\begingroup$ @Paul I've added some links to discussions of dog legs. $\endgroup$ – uhoh Nov 30 '17 at 1:38

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