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6
votes
3answers
276 views

Are sun-synchronous orbits always North to South?

So someone told me that weather satellites orbit from north to south generally because that helps them to obtain a sun-synchronous orbit (his explanation for why this was true was too complicated for ...
0
votes
1answer
139 views

Satellites that take advantage of, or require constant availability of sunlight on the spacecraft itself, available in Sun-synchronous orbits?

ditto: "Are there satellites that take advantage of, or require constant availability of sunlight on the spacecraft itself, available in Sun-synchronous orbits?" This question is an offshoot of this ...
2
votes
1answer
194 views

Is there a significant difference between launching a polar orbit mission south from New Zealand versus launching it north?

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 ...
3
votes
0answers
374 views

If a sun-synchronous orbit passes over the poles twice a year, how can it have a constant (e.g. 98°) inclination?

I am sooooo confused. The answer to Are sun synchronous orbits possible for any place on Earth? ends with In short, yes, sun-synchronous orbits are possible for any location on Earth. and mentions ...
3
votes
1answer
228 views

Could a cubesat in a 500km SSO orbit effectively monitor earth?

If you were looking for, say, a 1m per pixel quality, what focal length/sensor size would you need? Would there be any off the shelf/commercial solutions?
4
votes
2answers
488 views

MOM's NOT-so-sun-synchronous orbit about Mars - how large is it's J2?

edit: See my supplementary answer below for additional information. @Hohmannfan nailed it. This question and answer started me wondering - how big is the J2 (oblateness) term of Mars' gravity ...
10
votes
1answer
519 views

How risky is launching a rocket during a geomagnetic and solar radiation storm?

Today's launch of Arianespace Vega rocket deploying Sentinel 2A Earth observation satellite for ESA & European Commission went ahead as planned, lifting off on June 23, 2015 at exactly 01:51:58 ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Why does the Sun-synchronous orbital plane rotate?

I've seen this movie: It shows Sun-synchronized orbit of a satellite. What causes this orbit to be Sun-synchronized? I mean, from what I know, it shouldn't rotate as ...