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Questions tagged [altitude]

Questions regarding the distance of an object above a surface.

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29 votes
4 answers
13k views

How is the altitude of a satellite defined, given that the Earth is not spherical?

The altitude of a satellite is the distance between the Earth's surface and the satellite, but the Earth itself is not spherical. At the equator the Earth's radius is 21 km more than at the poles, and ...
Sumit Agrawal's user avatar
22 votes
2 answers
1k views

How far up have satellites used a GNSS for positioning, and how does the precision degrade with altitude?

GNSS satellites (at least GPS ones) are in Medium Earth Orbit (MEO). LEO satellites can use GNSS for positioning. Is this still possible for satellites in elliptical, such as Molniya, orbits? For ...
gerrit's user avatar
  • 11.7k
23 votes
6 answers
91k views

How far do you have to be from Earth to be "in space"?

According to a recent news article a group of USC students are attempting to launch a rocket "in to space" with a planned height of 62 miles. Making them "the first group of students to successfully ...
James Jenkins's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is it possible to calculate Max-Q without having to input an altitude

Is it possible to calculate max-q based on just upwards velocity instead of specially inputting a given altitude/air density? Based on this graph of Falcon 9 launches till MECO below "Air Pressure vs. ...
UndefinedUsername's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the reason for the Ariane 5 launcher with Intelsat 29e losing altitude?

After reaching a peak altitude of 222 km the Ariane 5 launcher with Intelsat 29e starts to lose altitude. What is the reason for this trajectory? Youtube video Paper on Ariane 5
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
938 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 ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
9 votes
2 answers
3k views

What is the ISS maximum altitude?

I see two threats to the ISS as its altitude goes up: Cosmic/solar radiation, which would endanger the crew and the electronics aboard. Orbital debris, which would have higher relative speed and ...
Antzi's user avatar
  • 12.6k
7 votes
1 answer
533 views

What are the causes of these episodes of faster than average altitude loss by the ISS?

@Cristiano's question No reboosts for the ISS shows the plot below. I don't have the original source. I've added some annotations including four arrows to indicate what looks like short periods (a day ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

How do you find the propellant mass needed to reach an specified altitude? (altitude at end of burn plus altitude during coast)

This question is basically entirely explained in the title, but I'll explain it more so this question doesn't get shut down. Basically, does anyone have an equation to find the propellant mass(solid) ...
Anish Kommireddy's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is the deepest place on Mars? Do humans need pressurized suits there?

Is there any particular deep area, trench, fissure, lava tube or otherwise on of Mars in which a person could survive with only an oxygen supply? How deep would plants or animals have to be in Mars ...
Muze's user avatar
  • 1
3 votes
0 answers
135 views

How would propagation differ between a GEO and a Retrograde GEO?

A Binary Equatorial Synchronous Retrograde Orbit is an orbit that would travel in the opposite direction of GEO and would pass over the same point on Earth twice per day at the same altitude of GEO. ...
Muze's user avatar
  • 1
22 votes
1 answer
2k views

How does Ingenuity measure its altitude when flying?

The Ingenuity folks at NASA and lots of viewers on the internet I'm sure were pleased to see the first data from "the first flight of powered aircraft on another planet" (by humans at least);...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
5 votes
3 answers
1k views

Why does a satellite with a higher mass fall slower?

I was doing simulations in GMAT and I could observe that if I increase the mass of the satellite, the satellite falls slower ... and if I reduce the mass of the satellite, then it falls faster (I only ...
Ricardo Casimiro's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
984 views

Why are orbital periods different for different GNSS positioning system constellations?

My question is restricted to global positioning systems (Regional ones have geosynchronous constraints, which limits drastically the orbit choice) The diagram in this question highlights different ...
Manu H's user avatar
  • 3,790
3 votes
1 answer
177 views

How high can New Shepard fly?

If all the cargo onboard New Shepard were removed and the booster was not recovered, how high could it fly?
The Rocket fan's user avatar
3 votes
0 answers
151 views

When did the FAI adopt the 100km line as border to space (for their purposes)?

Let me preface this with a disclaimer: This is not a discussion about which height makes sense. This is purely about international recognition by the FAI. Wikipedia says "An international committee ...
Polygnome's user avatar
  • 6,956