Re: OT: Was this the Project Kevin Fetter Referred to?

From: Henry Hallam (
Date: Fri Dec 07 2012 - 18:37:24 UTC

  • Next message: George Roberts: "Long term viability of geosynchronous orbits"

    It's definitely an interesting exercise to ponder the fate of GEO
    satellites.  My guess is that they'll be removed by human intervention
    before anything else happens, to avoid overpopulation and debris.  But
    if that doesn't occur then I imagine collisions due to orbit
    perturbations would destroy most of them on a timescale somewhere
    around 10000 - 100000 years.  Not sure whether the amount of material
    in GEO right now is enough to support the sort of runaway collision
    cascade that is threatening LEO at the moment.
    On Fri, Dec 7, 2012 at 10:15 AM, Gavin Eadie <> wrote:
    > We're talking a seriously long time here!
    > I'd expect that long before the Sun gets nasty, enough of the material making up those satellites would have sublimed into space, compromising structural integrity and leaving smaller and smaller fragments to evaporating into vacuum.
    > On Dec 7, 2012, at 12:43 AM, Jonathan W <> wrote:
    >> The author of the article below posits that geostationary satellites will
    >> remain in their orbits indefinitely - until they are removed, or the Sun
    >> becomes a red giant some 5 billion years from now, since there is
    >> absolutely no atmospheric drag at the altitude of 22,300 miles.  But is
    >> that really true?  Is there ABSOLUTELY *NO* atmospheric drag at that
    >> altitude?  Even if there is barely measurable drag when measured over a
    >> period of a few decades, the orbits wouldn't actually be permanent, when
    >> considering timescales in the billions of years.
    >> Jonathan
    >> On Wed, Dec 5, 2012 at 10:22 AM, Young, Brad <>wrote:
    >>> Brad
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