40

Don't look at this from the perspective of why this was so lousy. Look at it from the perspective why this is so good. I thought Earth-observing satellites need to be extremely stable to provide a clear picture. This is extremely stable. Look at how clear each frame is. but the video seems to suggest that the satellite is making lots of small corrections ...


12

This is very likely the satellite's attitude control. If the satellite is not controlled, it will not just remain in its current orientation, but instead will at least rotate slowly. Maybe the solar radiation pressure will lead to a stable orientation after some time (Kepler used something similar and the new JWST has a momentum flap to keep its attitude ...


11

Partial answer: The Symphonie satellites A and B were the first communications satellites built by France and Germany (and the first to use three-axis stabilization in geostationary orbit with a bipropellant propulsion system) to provide geostationary orbit injection and station-keeping during their operational lifetime Symphonie-A was launched from the ...


7

I worked for Hughes Aircraft back in the 1980s when this transition was underway. Hughes built many (most?) of the geosynchronous communication satellites in those days, and they were all spin-stabilized. That approach has several benefits. First, the attitude is passively stable because the angular momentum significantly exceeds the environmental torques (...


7

NASA published an extensive answer to this question on their blog today. Some key points as to why no cameras were added: You wouldn't actually be able to see anything useful: a wide-angle camera would not provide enough detail, and you would need so many narrow-angle to get enough details for them to be useful, that it would be too complex to be worth the ...


4

mentions several reasons for not having a camera: would need several cameras at several locations would need artificial light should be constructed from scratch to resist the low temperature on the dark side In case of failures could create unwanted debris keep load to a minimum


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