I was perusing wikipedia and saw this awesome infographic:
Original location of infograhpic: Wikipedia
Then it hit me, in all the time I've been browsing space articles and such...
I've never heard of any artificial satellite in a High Earth Orbit. There are 2 satellites in HEO as of right now...
I love being wrong many, many times... There's 15 according to @CoAstroGeek
My questions are:
- Is this type of orbit just not very useful, or is it just hard to get above 35,000KM above the earths surface in a stable, circular orbit?
- Is it a 'more work than its worth' type of situation?
Specifically, I'm not asking about interstellar staging, etc... kind of want this question focused on current-day technology and what's already there or what's planned to be there. Also, to clarify, I'm talking about significantly beyond GEO/GSO, I want to know what uses an HEO could be used for. Most articles that I find touch heavily on GEO/GSO and state it as the boundary for HEO, but don't talk about HEO.
Upon researching a bit more I've found 2 satellites that fit this bill:
- Launched very early on (1967).
- 1/3 the distance to the moon.
- In a near-circular, low eccentricity orbit.
- Probably not the best example for a satellite requiring HEO.
- Launched October 2008.
- Possibly a better example of a satellite requiring HEO.
- I would love extrapolation on why this satellite functions better in HEO.
Though the pages don't really state how HEO is required for these to function to any degree.