Unidentified subject!

From: Kevin Fetter (kfetter@yahoo.com)
Date: Tue Apr 18 2000 - 22:31:51 PDT

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    Do small satellites enter faster than large one's ?
    
    This was on another list I am subscribed to. 
    
    Very interesting point. Small satellites deorbit faster than large ones,
    usually. The surface area to mass ratio is higher on smaller satellites and
    therefor drag is higher and reduces orbital velocity. Remember the solar
    pannel from the Hubble Telescope that was cast adrift after it would not
    roll up? It stayed in orbit longer than they thought it would, but it did
    reenter. The Stardust satellite burned up about a month ago or so after no
    more than a year in orbit, again because of low mass to surface ratio.
    
    Most ISS trash would likely have a large surface area and minimal weight.
    It will soon lag behind the space station, getting lower and lower every day.
    
    
    Kevin
    
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