RE: More GEO questions

From: Matson, Robert (
Date: Fri Oct 12 2001 - 13:55:55 EDT

  • Next message: Bjoern Gimle: "Re: More GEO questions"

    Bill asked:
    > My spreadsheet tells me at an altitude of 60,000 miles (96720km) a
    > needs to cruise at 16,745 mph (26993kph) to remain geostationary. What
    > happen to this orbit?
    The "correct" velocity in order to maintain a circular orbit
    at that altitude is much slower than the velocity required to
    remain geostationary.  Thus, if a satellite's instantaneous
    velocity was 16,745 mph at an altitude of 60,000 miles, its
    orbit would probably be hyperbolic -- with closest approach
    at 60,000 miles, never to return to earth (without help from
    the sun or moon).  (Actually, I don't have time to run the
    calculation right now, but this velocity seems plenty high
    enough to exceed escape velocity for this altitude.)
    >  Is it possible to remain geostationary out there?  I realize it would be
    > very inefficient, but is it possible?
    Sure it's possible -- but you would have to continually
    expend fuel to do it, constantly attempting to accelerate
    toward the earth in order to remain in orbit.
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