Re: T4B delay, Falcon move

From: Allen Thomson (
Date: Sun Jun 26 2005 - 21:46:34 EDT

  • Next message: Ted Molczan: "TJM obs of 2005 Jun 27 UTC"

    > This is pure speculation, but I wonder whether this could be the "8X" that
    > was  much talked about in the late 1990's, but has yet to put in
    > appearance. If so,  then I like your long-ago speculation about a highly
    > elliptical,  sun-synchronous, retrograde critical inclination orbit:
    Well, my ego would be just so pleased if that were to turn out to be right.
    And, in fact, my favorite story for explaining the upcoming T4B launch is
    that it is, indeed, an 8X CRYSTAL/KH-11 modification pulled off the shelf to
    act as a gap-filler imaging sat while the Future Imaging Architecture tries
    to get un-FIAscoed.
    > Something around 116.6 deg, 630 X 7600 km would do the job nicely. It
    > would make  8 rev/d, and its apogee would be about 8 times that of a
    > standard KeyHole orbit.  Could either characteristic have been the origin
    > of the "8X" moniker?
    The general kind of orbit does have a lot of attractive features, as noted
    in the earlier message.  I really have no idea where the "8X" came from --
    I'd thought it might have to do with coverage -- but your suggestion makes
    as much sense.
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