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Questions tagged [geostationary]

Questions about orbits whose position in the sky remains the same for a stationary observer on the primary body.

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Are there any satellites in geosynchronous but not geostationary orbits?

I know there are a lot of geostationary satellites out there, but I'm wondering - are there any geosynchronous satellites that are not geostationary (ie - have a notable inclination to their orbit)?
ThePiachu's user avatar
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If we build a space elevator from Earth surface to GEO, could I step off it at GEO and remain in GEO?

Ignore for a moment the question of whether building such a space elevator is practical. Let's also ignore the minute delta-v involved in "stepping off" something in orbit. If we were to build a ...
user's user avatar
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Name for geostationary orbit around another planet

A geostationary orbit is a circular orbit in Earth's equatorial plane whose rotation period matches that of the Earth. The "geo" in "geostationary" means Earth, so is there another term to designate ...
usernumber's user avatar
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How closely spaced are satellites at GEO?

As the picture below (kind of) shows, there are lots of satellites in geostationary orbit. Couple this with the fact that certain longitudes are more desirable than others (like above North America or ...
user avatar
22 votes
2 answers
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How full is the geostationary belt?

The geostationary ring clearly seen in the above picture looks alarmingly crowded. How full is it? How much space does a satellite in that orbit require to operate safely? Surely, (other) ...
coleopterist's user avatar
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18 votes
5 answers
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What's salvageable from a dead satellite?

DARPA has proposed orbital maintenance and salvage robots. I had gathered a list of links that was lost when DARPA rearranged their website. But I was able to find this page: Phoenix Makes Strides in ...
HopDavid's user avatar
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Are any geosynchronous satellites visible with the naked eye?

It is very easy to spot LEO satellites during dusk or dawn. I am wondering if satellites further out in a geosynchronous orbit are also visible. Of course, if even possible, these would appear more ...
Stu's user avatar
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What is the current cost per kg to send something into GSO/GEO?

I was reading this article and thought it was reasonably cheap, probably because I mistook LEO for GEO. What is the going rate to get something into GeoStationary Orbit and Geosynchronous Equatorial ...
Coomie's user avatar
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16 votes
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Why are obsolete geostationary satellites re-orbited above the geostationary belt?

That seems a bit counter-intuitive, because in an orbit above the belt, the satellite would eventually lose gain velocity, so its orbit would intersect the orbital plane of the geostationary ...
Mark's user avatar
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15 votes
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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
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Why aren't space telescopes put in GEO?

I don't know of any space telescope that has been placed in geosynchronous orbit among the communication satellites. I wonder why not? In GEO, a space telescope could use a single stationary radio ...
LocalFluff's user avatar
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Have there ever been cubesats in GEO?

This answer to the question How often do reaction wheels require desaturation, normally? says: One practical example I know of is for a 6U in GEO that is always sun pointed, there's a thruster ...
uhoh's user avatar
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How many dead sats near GEO?

It's my understanding a geosynchronous satellite will put itself in a graveyard orbit just before it dies. How many dead sats are in GEO or in neighboring graveyard orbits? What is their total mass?
HopDavid's user avatar
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Are commercial communications satellites in GEO being constantly monitored by telescopes?

I was trying to look up GOES-17 in Spaceflight101 but got sidetracked in the search result and ended up reading this thread about AMC-9, which links to the YouTube video Rough cut video of AMC-9 ...
uhoh's user avatar
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How long does it take for a satellite to reach GEO?

Specifically for the SpaceX SES-8 mission going on right now. But, generally, how long does it take for a satellite to reach GEO at a minimum?
Stu's user avatar
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12 votes
6 answers
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Dangle a cable down to earth - fundamental Physics question

If I had the material that had the tensile strength, would it be possible to have it dangle from the lowest most practically possible geostationary object down into the atmosphere? Would it not ...
Beezer's user avatar
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What is the maximum mass of a satellite that can be placed in GEO?

What is the maximum mass of a satellite that can be placed in GEO? Or can satellites of any mass be placed in GEO?
Hash's user avatar
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Is the risk of explosion-induced damage to operational spacecraft in GEO actually reduced substantially by raising Spaceway-1 by 300 km?

Engadget: DirecTV satellite is at risk of explosion due to battery issues Space News: DirecTV fears explosion risk from satellite with damaged battery say that the spacecraft must move 300 km above ...
uhoh's user avatar
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Geosynchronous orbits around other Solar System objects

Earth's geostationary orbit has many human-made satellites which have helped vastly with communications and research. Aside from this artificial collection, are there any other objects orbiting a ...
Stu's user avatar
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Tethered geostationary orbit

One of the biggest issues that I've heard of in building a space elevator is the high tensile strength of the cord used to tether the the elevator to the ground. If there's a structure that's at ...
PixelArtDragon's user avatar
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2 answers
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Is it feasible to pump fuel into orbit?

Imagine a huge fuel depot in geostationary orbit. Suppose further that it is tethered to the Earth and that there's a large hose snaking down all the way. Is it feasible to pump fuel up 35,786km? Can ...
coleopterist's user avatar
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Are there any CubeSats that have been launched into Geostationary (GEO/GSO) or Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO)?

There is one mission by GSFC/NASA - Shields-1 to be launched into GTO. Apart from that I couldn't find any other mission to GTO/GEO. It would be of great help if there is any information on this.
sky's user avatar
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What is the process for allocating GEO slots to commercial satellites?

Building off of this previous question, is there a more detailed summary anywhere of the process that a commercial satellite would have to go through to obtain a GEO slot? The documentation I have ...
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When and why did three-axis stabilization become prominent in geostationary satellites?

Since the very first Sycom 1, geostationary satellites from 1960s to 1980s are cylindrical with solar cells covering the body of the satellite. Such examples include: GOES 1 to 7 AsiaSat 1 and its ...
Mys_721tx's user avatar
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Thrust and rotation strategy to circularize a standard GTO orbit using ion propulsion?

The previous question How much time does it take to circularize a GTO orbit using ion propulsion? has a good, quantitative answer based on a known delta-v. But I'm wondering how would you actually ...
uhoh's user avatar
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How much is a geostationary satellite expected to deviate from the geostationary orbit?

I've read this already and some Wikipedia articles, but found no real estimates on how much does a satellite deviate from its standard location. Say that the standard sub-satellite point (SSP) is <...
cobarzan's user avatar
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2 answers
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How is the launch window decided for GTO launches?

What launch vehicle, spacecraft and target orbit parameters decide the time of launch to GTO for satellites destined for GEO? The target orbital slot is always in the same relative position to the ...
jkavalik's user avatar
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How much "wobble" does a typical geostationary satellite experience?

Recall that geostationary satellites are placed into an orbit which is designed to stay above a fixed point on the Earth's surface. If the Earth and the satellite were both spherical cows in an ...
senshin's user avatar
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1 answer
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Do geosynchronous satellite launches require a tight launch window?

I thought only launches to rendezvous (resupply, repair, space station expansion etc) and direct launches into interplanetary trajectory require precisely timed launch window. Then I read: Geosync ...
SF.'s user avatar
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What kind of liquid propulsion systems do GEO satellites use?

Coming from a question about distances between satellites in GEO, what liquid propulsion systems do a majority of GEO satellites carry to maintain their slot positions? It is easy to find information ...
Stu's user avatar
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At which point would two GSO/GEO satellites with similar orbital elements be closest to each other?

While I was answering another question on How closely spaced are satellites at GEO I came to realize I can't really word it with much conviction how two close proximity satellites in GEO/GSO orbits ...
TildalWave's user avatar
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How stationary is geostationary?

When a satellite is in geostationary orbit, it is supposed to stay above one spot of the earth and rotate around the earth at the same rate the earth spins. But how exact does that equality need to be?...
David says Reinstate Monica's user avatar
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2 answers
854 views

How do stable equilibrium points work in GEO? If all geosynchronous spacecraft suddenly lost stationkeeping, would most "fall into" one or the other?

The (currently unanswered) question Quantitatively, how deep are the stable equilibrium points in GEO? How much delta-v to move from one to the other? (also see comments at Delta-v to move from GEO to ...
uhoh's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
506 views

What is typical lifetime of GTO rocket stages before reentry?

Most of geostationary satellites are launched at geostationary transfer orbit (GTO) first by rocket's upper stage. Than satellites separate and circularize the orbit by own propulsion. The upper ...
Heopps's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
384 views

How are co-located satellites positioned relative to each other?

I'm trying to learn about co-located GEO satellites. When I first heard about them, coming from a planetary orbital mechanics background, the first thing I pictured was based on the epicyclic ...
NeutronStar's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
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Could an areostationary satellite help locate asteroids?

Could NASA put an artificial radar telescope satellite in geosyncronous orbit around Mars to help locate dangerous asteroids on a trajectory that would place them on a path to strike Earth?
Gary Robert Davis's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Delta-v to move from GEO to GEO

To move a satellite in geostationary orbit, 166°55′E, to the antipode, 13° 4' 3.2" W, what delta-V would be needed for this to be accomplished? As for time constraints, I do not know what are the ...
Bob516's user avatar
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Why does Himawari-8 have problems with the Sun from 19th February to 19th April?

This weather site uses provides meteorological imaging from the Himawari-8 Earth observing satellite in GEO. https://www.cwb.gov.tw/eng/ The web site contains the following item: ...
uhoh's user avatar
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8 votes
1 answer
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Could a near earth asteroid perturb a satellite out of earth's orbit?

Given a satellite in GEO or a graveyard orbit, what characteristics of a passing NEO would be required to perturb said satellite out of Earth's influence and into a sun-bound or sun-centered highly ...
McKenning's user avatar
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8 votes
2 answers
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Differences between launch injection and transfer orbits for geostationary satellites

I am familiar with all different orbits but I struggle with the new launch injection method in GTO. What are the differences between sub-synchronous and super-synchronous transfer orbits compared to ...
Syrtismajor's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
10k views

Given the orbital radius of a satellite, how is the orbital period calculated?

I know I can find the orbit radius of a satellite from the equation: $$r=\sqrt[3]{\frac{T^2GM}{4 \pi^2}}$$ but what determines the orbit period $T$? If I assume a geosynchronous orbit, would that ...
jazeboo's user avatar
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8 votes
3 answers
726 views

Is it possible to create a geostationary surveillance telescope?

Is it possible to create a telescope in geostationary orbit, with real-time video from any country or area? Some applications could be: Monitoring of burning and deforestation; Residential/industrial ...
theCrazySander's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
421 views

How does gravitational stability change with the distance from special places such as geostationary orbit and lagrange points?

How rapid do the attractive properties of GEO and lagrange points deteriorate with the distance from optimum? How "large" are such locations? At what distance would station keeping require, say, twice ...
LocalFluff's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
2k views

Does it economically cost the same to launch a satellite into LEO and GTO?

I was doing some research about how much $/kg it costs to launch a satellite into GEO. I came across several sources that lists info for LEO: https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/cost-space-launches-low-...
Yi Qiang Ji's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
444 views

Is there a synchronous orbital height for Phobos?

My assumption is that any body in the solar system would have it's own specific geo-synchronous orbit height. But when I took a look at Phobos and calculated the GEO height based on the simple formula ...
Clouds_AO's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
822 views

Could a communication satellite that fails to reach GEO be repurposed?

When a launcher's upper stage fails to put a commercial communication satellite in geostationary orbit, it cannot be used as intended. But could it be used in satellite-to-satellite communication ...
LocalFluff's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
489 views

Needed height from the release of a space elevator to get a stable elliptical orbit?

As we know, something released from around 36000 km height from a space elevator will remain in geostationary orbit around the Earth. Things released from lower will go into an elliptical orbit ...
peterh's user avatar
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7 votes
2 answers
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Why do these satellite antennas look so weird? (strangely shaped with little white dots...)

The NASA Spaceflight article Arianespace press onward with dual-passenger Ariane 5 launch shows a photo of Intelsat 39 during testing. The dish reflectors are strangely shaped: rather than being ...
uhoh's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
549 views

How could RCA Satcom III have been completely lost? (Or was it?)

This answer to What “missing satellite” was part of the story of CNN's debut? quotes the 1981 UPI Article The RCA Satcom III-R commercial communications satellite, designed to... as follows: The ...
uhoh's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
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What size are the typical keep-inside boxes of geostationary telco satellites?

Geo sats need station-keeping and the size of their keep-inside box is a design parameter. A smaller box implies more manoeuvres to stay inside the box. All depending on the various orbit ...
Bash Frank's user avatar