RE: New eyes for the french intelligence.

From: Ted Molczan (molczan@rogers.com)
Date: Thu Dec 02 2004 - 08:45:11 EST

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    Kevin Fetter wrote:
    
    > > > To me it's a sun sync orbit, and not polar.
    > > And my definition of the polar familly is probably 8 deg. too wide !
    > 
    > To me polar means a close to 90 degree inclination orbit, like
    > 
    > Gravity Probe B   
    > 1 28230U 04014A   04336.61361717 -.00000134  00000-0 -21925-4 0  1818
    > 2 28230  89.9939 163.3373 0002520  78.1535 281.9956 14.75689192 33163
    
    A true polar orbit is inclined 90 deg; however, it is common practice to
    describe inclinations close to 90 deg as polar or quasi-polar. I tend to think
    of orbits inclined between about 70 deg and 110 deg as polar or quasi-polar. The
    majority of sun-synchronous orbits have been inclined between about 96 deg and
    102 deg, so I regard them as polar orbit variants. I do not recall seeing any
    widely accepted formal definitions, but I would not be surprised to learn that
    they exist.
    
    Ted Molczan
    
    
    
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