RE: Goes 11 retired from service

From: Robert Fenske Jr (
Date: Wed Dec 07 2011 - 23:01:36 UTC

  • Next message: Dale Ireland: "RE: Goes 11 retired from service"

    The geosynchronous orbits are high enough that atmospheric drag isn't a factor.
    Only the lunar and solar perturbations are and they must simply be not enough 
    to move a satellite into the operation orbit range.  Or perhaps at that 
    distance the perturbations have a tendency to move the satellite even further 
    away from the Earth.
    I don't know why a higher orbit is chosen vs a lower one.  Since the manuevers 
    are done at the end of life -- when there is little fuel remaining -- often it 
    is chancy whether the push to the graveyard orbit can be done.  It may be that 
    a push to a high orbit takes less energy and so is more likely to succeed.
    Robert Fenske, Jr
    On Wed, 7 Dec 2011, Dale Ireland wrote:
    > Why is the "graveyard" 135 miles higher than the active satellites? If the
    > satellite becomes totally unoperational won't it eventually drop, possibly
    > uncontrolled, back down through the geo belt? Why wouldn't they make the
    > graveyard 135 miles lower than the belt rather than higher? Are there other
    > forces involved?
    > Dale
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