Questions tagged [inclination]

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26 votes
3 answers
8k views

Why use a retrograde orbit?

I've been looking around and saw on What is the highest inclination orbit ever attained from a Cape Canaveral launch? a question about launching into retrograde orbit. Of course, due to range safety ...
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18 votes
1 answer
4k views

Why is 51.8° inclination standard for Soyuz?

Soyuz flights are mostly around 51.8° inclination, and the Soyuz manual gives this as a reference value. Why is 51.8° the standard inclination? That's not the latitude of Baikonur, and I couldn't find ...
14 votes
2 answers
1k views

What orbital inclinations will be launched into from Scotland?

It has recently been announced that the A'Mhoine peninsula in Sutherland, Scotland will be host to the United Kingdom's first vertical launch site (assuming they can get anything done with just £30m ...
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12 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why does a launch due south (180° azimuth) not translate into a polar orbit from Vandenberg?

I found this image showing the allowable launch azimuths for Vandenberg AFB and I was wondering why a 180° launch azimuth doesn't match a 90° inclination orbit. This led me to question the equation ...
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11 votes
1 answer
1k views

Was the lunar landing site always in the same plane as the CM's orbit?

Did the Apollo command module always pass directly over the lunar landing site? Or were they sometimes in different planes? My inclination (pun intended) is that staying in the same plane would ...
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11 votes
1 answer
890 views

Why do rockets launching to the ISS from Florida point at 45 degrees to reach a 51.6 degree inclination?

In the Everyday Astronaut video about roll programs, it was mentioned in passing that in order to launch to a 51.6 degree inclination (to rendezvous with the ISS), the rocket must point at about 45 ...
10 votes
5 answers
5k views

Why does launching east result in an orbital inclination equal to the latitude of the launch site?

As mentioned briefly in this answer and this Everyday Astronaut video: And just as a reference, if you launched straight east out of Kennedy Space Center, you'd be on a 28.6° inclination which you ...
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6 votes
3 answers
2k views

Can an orbit rotate around a non-orthogonal axis?

I'll attempt to draw a mental example, in case images are not kind (if they are kind, you can likely skip this first paragraph). Let us say that the Earth is at it's aphelion (arbitrary choice), and ...
6 votes
3 answers
243 views

Inclination maneuvers for GEO satellites

I was wondering about the orbital location to perform inclination nulling maneuvers for GEO satellites. I know from basic astrodynamics that the best place to perform inclination correction is at ...
6 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why 53º orbits for Starlink?

In the UCS satellite dataset, I see a very modest number of non-Starlink LEO satellites around 53º (see graph below). Conversely, Starlink satellites are regularly deployed around that inclination. ...
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5 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is the maximum inclination a geosynchronous orbit can have?

A geosynchronous orbit is one where a satellite's orbital period (more or less) matches a planet's rotation period. However, this is distinct from a geostationary orbit, where a satellite must remain ...
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4 votes
1 answer
468 views

Inclination vs payload capacity of a rocket

I am learning about Space exploration and I have the following question: When you are launching a rocket into space with maximal inclination, is the payload capacity then the highest? Thanks!
4 votes
1 answer
608 views

Distribution of satellites by inclination

What is the distribution of Earth orbiting satellites by inclination? In other words, what inclinations are more or less popular? I work with Earth observation myself, where many satellites are Sun-...
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3 votes
2 answers
1k views

How do you correct inclination at launch to ISS?

Launching from Florida 28.5 degree inclination to rendezvous with ISS at 400km to 51 degree inclination of ISS
3 votes
1 answer
100 views

Why did the last six TDRS satellites start at ~7° inclination on a downward trend that appears to be "repelled" by zero & bounce back w/o crossing?

The most recent six TDRS satellites (8 through 13) were inserted into moderate inclination orbits of roughly 7°, and in all cases their inclinations immediately decreased at rates of about +/-1 or +/-...
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3 votes
1 answer
518 views

How to calculate the change in inclination due to perturbations?

I would like to know the how much the inclination for a generic elliptical orbit changes over an unspecified period. The variation of inclination fluctuates as per a thread listed at the bottom. I'd ...
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3 votes
1 answer
97 views

What's the highest heliocentric inclination achieved by a deep space probe, without using the outer planets?

Wikipedia and this answer explain that it will take several flyby's of Venus for ESA's Solar Orbiter to reach 34° of inclination. Question: Currently, what's the highest heliocentric inclination ...
  • 148k
3 votes
1 answer
133 views

Why does TDRS 1's inclination evolve so much differently than that of all the others starting in 1995?

The plot below is from the question Why do the geosynchronous TDRS satellites have this distribution of inclinations?, and the explanation says Inclination and mean motion (rev/day) for TDRS ...
  • 148k
2 votes
0 answers
66 views

How can I "debounce" these TDRS satellite inclinations? (reconstruct the zero-crossings)

The plot below is from the question Why do the geosynchronous TDRS satellites have this distribution of inclinations?, and the explanation says Inclination and mean motion (rev/day) for TDRS ...
  • 148k
1 vote
1 answer
399 views

Do rockets headed to ISS get delta V benefit from Earth's rotation

A rocket on the launchpad moves Eastward with the rest of the earth as it rotates about its polar axis. This means that on launch, the rocket already has a sizable eastward velocity component: ~460 m/...
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1 vote
1 answer
122 views

Is the critical inclination the same on every planet in the solar system?

I am learning about Space exploration. Is the critical inclination the same on every planet (in the solar system) or does it depend on the planet?
1 vote
1 answer
65 views

Ascending node and critical inclination

I am learning about Space exploration and I have the following question: Is the ascending node always the same for the critical inclination, or does it change? Thanks!
1 vote
0 answers
73 views

Earth Rotational Vector and Orbital Inclination

I'm doing a project regarding orbital launches and i'm kinda confused about how to calculate orbital inclination from launch sites. I've simplified my model so I can ignore fuel and the rocket ...
0 votes
1 answer
111 views

Keplerian Orbital Elements to Cartesian Coordinates issue with inclination, and possibly other stuff

this is the first time I am asking for help on this site, so if I format badly, or need to add/change something, let me know. I am currently trying to make a game using python (python powered board ...