Questions tagged [very-low-earth-orbit]

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Future trends in Earth Observation and Communications from VLEO; are there any?

Question: In order to better understand the wider market need and uses for Very Low Earth Orbit (VLEO)-enabling technologies, I'd like to ask about future trends in Earth observation imagery and ...
3
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1answer
45 views

What technologies enable or at least help satellite operation in Very Low Earth Orbit (VLEO)?

This answer to How low is VLEO? (FCC's newest approval for SpaceX) suggests VLEO begins (or ends I guess) at 350 km. The two bad things I know about in VLEO are an enhanced rate of altitude loss due ...
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1answer
72 views

What is Direct Simulation Monte Carlo and why is it a good method for simulating spacecraft drag in VLEO?

Reducing spacecraft drag in Very Low Earth Orbit through shape optimisation J. A. Walsh and L. Berthoud (2017) show simulations calculating drag coefficients for different "nose cone" shapes ...
2
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2answers
154 views

Does it count as orbital flight if one reentered the atmosphere due to its drag after about 1 revolution?

Imagine a spacecraft entered an orbit around the Earth whose perigee is low enough into the atmosphere so that it reenters and lands after a revolution, without having to perform a reentry burn. While ...
3
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1answer
183 views

What's the lowest altitude that an ion engine has been used for a significant orbital maneuver?

I'm thinking about trying to calculate something for Where do ion propulsion's ions go? Do they remain in the solar system or shoot out into interstellar space? Excluding low altitude tests of ion ...
6
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1answer
180 views

How to calculate the lowest possible altitude a satellite can orbit at due to aerodynamic heating if provided with a sufficient propulsion system?

If a satellite is equipped with a propulsion system which is enough for compensating the local drag and maintaining the orbit, then aerodynamic heating would be the limiting factor for attaining the ...
14
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2answers
477 views

How fast do optical surfaces get dirty or damaged in space?

These answers: (1, 2) to Do things get dirty in space? mention the Hubble Space Telescope but if I understand correctly refer to the outside of the telescope rather than its optical surfaces. Answers ...
4
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1answer
200 views

How exactly does atomic oxygen cause problems for spacecraft in VLEO?

In very low Earth orbit there are (at least) two problems; aerodynamic drag, and atomic oxygen (O rather than O2). Drag can be compensated with a low thrust from an ion engine. Question: But what ...
8
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1answer
1k views

How low is VLEO? (FCC's newest approval for SpaceX)

Engaget's SpaceX gets FCC approval to deploy thousands more internet satellites says SpaceX's plan to build a global, high-speed wireless internet network using satellites has taken another step ...