Re: GOES-12 deorbit?

Date: Tue Aug 20 2013 - 05:48:14 UTC

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    Chris Jones, you wrote:
    "I don't like "re-orbit" (with or without the hyphen) for the same reason
    I don't like "deorbit": the satellite is neither reentering or leaving
    orbit, so the terms are incorrect. "
    Hmm. That strikes me as an overly semantic complaint. Words are meant to communicate --not to obey any laws. The word "de-orbit" doesn't communicate well here because it creates the strong impression of an object re-entering the atmosphere. As for "re-orbit", it has no such connotation, and suggests just what it should be: a significant change in orbit. The alternative "graveyarded" is about as cumbersome as social media's "unfriended". Though actually, come to think of it, I may just have to "graveyard" a few FB friends... :) Speaking metaphorically, of course!
    And if you want to get REALLY nitpicky about orbits, there are no such things as orbits except in carefully constrained mathematical models. There are only trajectories or "paths". For example, the path the ISS follows is a 3d spiral more than the common image of a (nearly) circular orbit. So any and all use of the term 'orbit' is "incorrect".... from a certain point of view. 
    Frank Reed
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