5

Yes, it causes distortion. But No, this will not pose any exceptional problems. All space probes are in motion relative to the sender/receiver on Earth. This motion causes distortion of the signal's frequency and time synchronization. The causes are many, listed roughly from strongest to least: Time delay due to distance to the probe Doppler frequency shift ...


4

I'm leaning towards the "just coincident" explanation here. The semi-major must be >54.5 million km (and even that is too hot), as the aphelion must touch the orbit of Venus to enjoy the repeated gravity assists to reach this orbit, and the perihelion must be outside the sun. So ~57 million km is right were the trajectory constraints would ...


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