I’m just watching the Iridium-6/GRACE-FO launch from SpaceX.
Before the launch they showed a video of the Iridium satellite network and in this mission they deployed 5 additional satellites into LEO.
They are at 500km altitude and moving at 27000km/h.
They deploy one satellite from the second stage and then wait 100 seconds for each subsequent satellite deployment.
But... surely each satellite is still moving at that release speed and in the same direction. So are all of these satellites going to be orbiting in a tiny group all nestled together? That doesn’t seem right...?
How does this deployment pattern end up with a spread out network of satellites?
I guess they don’t have enough propulsion on board to significantly alter their orbit? Or do they?