Linked Questions

13
votes
2answers
904 views

Can the Right Ascension and Argument of Perigee of a spacecraft's orbit keep varying by themselves with time?

I came across the orbital data for a low Earth orbit spacecraft and one thing which I am not able to understand is why does its Right Ascension of ascending node and Argument of Perigee keep changing ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

In “spacecraft talk” is nadir just a fancy word for “down”?

Assume the approximation that the Earth is spherically symmetric — without higher order gravitational multipoles, and other effects that might be related to gravity from other bodies or the ...
5
votes
3answers
503 views

How fast do Starlink satellites (SpaceX new satellites) rotate around the earth?

I'm specifically interested in knowing how long they take to do a full circle around the earth but don't find any info. Could anyone help me?
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Determine orbit type from TLE

I was wondering if, and how, one can tell from the values in a TLE whether an orbit is LEO, MEO, HEO, or GEO. I'd like to do this in code eventually, so any formulas or threshold values would be much ...
8
votes
1answer
243 views

Deviation of semi-major axis

If I calculate the semi-major axis of Molniya-1T with $a = \sqrt[3]{\dfrac{GM}{n^2}}$ with $n=3.18683728\text{ }d^{-1}$, I get another apoapsis ($a=19505.7$ km) as noted at Heavens Above: apogee ...
4
votes
2answers
424 views

What is the reason for secondary oscillations in apogee and perigee plots for objects 41332 and 41333?

This answer provides quite interesting plots of apogee and perigee for objects 41332 and 41333. The primary (sine wave -like) oscillations are probably due to perturbations caused by potential ...
4
votes
2answers
478 views

Did Tiangong-1 turn the engines on?

The following graph shows the Tiangong-1 radius vector at the perigee, semi-major axis and apogee (scaled to 6371 km just to show an approximate altitude) and its orbit eccentricity: I used the SGP4 ...
1
vote
2answers
481 views

What is the Fischer 1960 Mercury Ellipsoid, and why is it called that?

Don't be distracted by the 1960 Mercury shown below. Reading about Irene Fischer (also here, and mentioned in this answer) and seeing the Fischer 1960 Mercury Ellipsoid turn up in tables of ellipsoid ...
2
votes
1answer
495 views

Delta-V of Starlink Satellites

The recently launched Starlink satellites are designed to use their HAL Ion thrusters to seek their own independent orbits, evade collisions, and de-orbit at the end of their lives. That's a lot of ...
1
vote
2answers
225 views

Help understanding negative apogee coinciding with exact center of Earth (Mars InSight launch)

Watching the NASA JPL video NASA Launches InSight to Mars (Part 2) after MECO-2, the orbital parameters shown in the video don't make sense to me; specifically the apogee altitude. At this point in ...
1
vote
1answer
208 views

How large would be the seasonal variation of eclipse duration for a spacecraft in LEO?

The question How long will a 500 km altitude satellite spend in Earth - shade per orbit has several answers, and there is some discussion of constraints related to maximum eclipse, due to some issues ...
4
votes
1answer
75 views

Mechanics of Sun-Synchronous Orbit & North Korea's KMS-4

QUICK QUESTION: Is North Korea's KMS-4 in a proper Sun-synchronous orbit? https://www.n2yo.com/?s=41332 2016-009A FOLLOW-UP QUESTION: How do I tell? I want to understand the mechanics. RESEARCH:...
1
vote
1answer
94 views

What are the minimum and maximum calculated, published altitudes of the Kármán line?

I'd like to be able to say, "The Kármán line has been calculated to lie between ___ and ___ km." The "accepted" altitude of the ...