Graveyard Orbit

From: Jonathan T Wojack (
Date: Mon Jun 04 2001 - 12:05:57 PDT

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    From   :
    >Once the useful life of a satellite has come to an end, which is usually
    due to running out of station-keeping or attitude 
    >control propellant or due to degraded components, the satellite can
    become a hazard to other operational satellites. 
    >This hazard can be minimized by moving the satellite to a seldom-used
    orbit, referred to as a "graveyard" orbit, or re-
    >entered and burned up in the atmosphere if it is in a low orbit, as was
    done with Mir, the aging Russian space station 
    >that re-entered the atmosphere in March. Orbital safety can minimize the
    potential hazards of a satellite at the end of its 
    >life by venting any pressurized tanks, to make safe any remaining
    pyrotechnic devices and to turn off transmitters. 
    Does anyone know precisely what a "graveyard orbit" is like?  i.e., what
    are the orbit parameters?
    Jonathan T. Wojack       
    39.706d N   75.683d W            
    4 hours behind UT (-4)
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    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Mon Jun 04 2001 - 12:21:32 PDT