Skip to main content

Questions tagged [polar-orbit]

An orbit that passes over or near the poles of a celestial body. Each orbit passes over different longitudes of the orbited body. Earth satellites use this orbit for tasks such as mapping and observation.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
11 votes
3 answers
5k views

Why does everyone say that it is better to launch a satellite into polar orbit from the pole than from the equator?

If the Earth were spherical, I would agree with this. But the Earth is not spherical. And at the equator, the radius of the Earth is 21 km greater than at the poles. By convention, the altitude of the ...
Roman's user avatar
  • 113
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

how to better understand how dawn dusk orbits work?

I am starting to study orbital mechanics and I have some doubts about the sun-synchronous orbits and particularly about dawn-dusk orbits. I often read phrases like: Often, satellites in SSO are ...
Sfusfina's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
392 views

What would the TLE data (Mean Motion, Eccentricity, Inclination, RAAN, Argument of Pericenter) of GEO and PO be like?

I am currently making a satellite tracker app for android. I want to test my orbit propagation algorithm and I want to make some made-up basic orbits, so I need to know how their TLE would be. I want ...
fas_dev's user avatar
  • 11
12 votes
2 answers
2k 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 ...
Matt's user avatar
  • 121
5 votes
1 answer
112 views

Have any living organisms been intentionally launched into polar orbits?

The Space Shuttle was originally intended to be able to support polar orbits, by launching from Vandenberg AFB, in California. Although a launch complex was built, it was never used for a Shuttle ...
Milwrdfan's user avatar
  • 2,798
3 votes
1 answer
94 views

Problems receiving Iridium messages during the middle of the 'day' in the far North

I have some scientific instruments using Iridium modems for communication active at around or higher than 82°N. At the time of writing this message, we are in middle of August, i.e. the polar day ...
Zorglub29's user avatar
  • 131
2 votes
1 answer
273 views

Why aren't satellites launched into a Polar LEO to get into Polar Heliocentric Orbit?

The Ulysses Spacecraft was sent to Jupiter to change it's orbital inclination via a gravity assist, and enter a nearly polar heliocentric orbit with an inclination of 79° in respect to the solar plane....
Star Man's user avatar
  • 5,928
4 votes
1 answer
155 views

Was there a spacecraft that was clearly the first to be put in a polar orbit?

Was there a first spacecraft put in a polar orbit? It might not be clear if it's too hard to say what high inclination orbit is or is not polar, for example if 91 satellites were launched in 0, 1, 2.....
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
15 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is an Earth synchronous (?) polar orbit possible?

I don't even know how to exactly ask this question. A coworker is doing some experiments on a data visualization software and he has some test data showing fake telemetry from a simulated satellite. ...
Gaëtan's user avatar
  • 253
5 votes
1 answer
242 views

How will Chandrayaan-2 reach a polar orbit?

This Wikipedia article says the the Chandrayaan-2 orbiter will be in a polar orbit above the moon. The orbiter will perform its mission for one year in a circularized lunar polar orbit of 100 × 100 ...
Star Man's user avatar
  • 5,928
4 votes
0 answers
255 views

How do I calculate the change in the argument of periapsis after a plane change maneuver?

Let's say I have a spacecraft in an initial geocentric orbit with the following parameters: a = 7,960,000 m, e = 0.010, $\Omega$ = 180$^{\circ}$, i = 98$^{\circ}$, $\omega$ = 90$^{\circ}$, $\theta_0$ =...
ReluctantEarthling's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
86 views

Direct transfers to inclined lunar orbits?

I'm trying to find examples of direct earth–moon trajectories ending in inclined low lunar orbits. I've found a few classes, such as those with plane changes between SOI encounter and capture ...
Translunar's user avatar
  • 1,108
4 votes
2 answers
173 views

Orbits that allows observation of a polar region

If a mission is only interested in a single polar region of a planet, what kind of orbit would be most fitted for the satellite. The first things that comes to mind is a polar orbit, but then it ...
PaoloH's user avatar
  • 237
3 votes
1 answer
615 views

What satellites were launched into a polar orbit from Cape Canaveral in the 1950s and 1960s?

Historically, most launches from U.S. soil that have headed into a polar or near-polar orbit have been launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. However, in a recent article written by ...
marked-down's user avatar
  • 8,961
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why is Rocket Lab's New Zealand launch site good for polar orbits?

The Channel News Asia article New Zealand launches into space race with 3D-printed rocket says: Ships and planes need re-routing every time a rocket is launched, which limits opportunities in ...
uhoh's user avatar
  • 149k
3 votes
1 answer
2k views

Lunar Polar Orbit

With all this talk about lunar bases being at the poles, especially Shackleton Crater, I was thinking about the navigation. I am assuming that the lunar landers would stay there and ferry people & ...
Johnny Robinson's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
3k views

Are most Earth polar satellites launched to the South or to the North? And why?

Almost all satellites in LEO have been launched to the east, to take advantage of the Earth's surface rotational speed of about 5% of required orbital speed (Israel being a small exception for ...
LocalFluff's user avatar
17 votes
4 answers
15k views

Why do so few satellites pass over the poles, and why do so many focus on the equator?

The following screenshots from the website Stuff in Space, which tracks satellites and man-made debris orbiting the earth show us a few things: It appears to me that: very few satellites (or pieces ...
Wad Cheber's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
1k views

How are different spaceports restrained in terms of orbits reachable?

Vandenberg and Plesetsk and Satish Dhawan (India) have obviously been used for polar orbits. Palmachim (Israel) launches westward due to political and safety reasons. But what are the constraints on ...
LocalFluff's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
1k views

Do any spacecraft orbit Mars on a polar orbit?

Polar orbit is quite common for observation satellites. It seems logic to put probes whose goal is to observe Mars (pictures, cartography) on a polar orbit around Mars. But traveling from Earth to any ...
Manu H's user avatar
  • 3,790
4 votes
1 answer
2k views

Optimal turning from equatorial to polar orbit

Yeah, I know, "launch into target orbit". But let's assume we need to perform the maneuver. A satellite in LEO equatorial orbit would need excessive amounts of delta-V to enter polar orbit. The ...
SF.'s user avatar
  • 55k