RE: Astra-5B

From: Jim Scotti (
Date: Sat Jan 24 2009 - 00:43:14 UTC

  • Next message: Ron Lee: "Re: Astra-5B"

    I've always wondered why the graveyard orbit is above geosynchronous 
    altitude.  The rate of decay due to the atmosphere would be very very slow, 
    possibly dominated by other perturbing forces, so it may not matter. Perhaps 
    there are some luni-solar perturbations or maybe the J2 or J4 term in Earth's 
    gravity field would systematically tend to walk objects outward instead of 
    inward at near geosynchronous altitudes that would explain why the graveyard 
    orbit is higher?  Hopefully one of our contributors knows the answer.
    On Fri, 23 Jan 2009, Dale Ireland wrote:
    > Why is the "graveyard" 300 km "above" the GEO belt? Wouldn't satellites
    > slowly decay back down into the active belt or is there some other orbital
    > dynamic that prevents this?
    > Dale
    >> -----Original Message-----
    >> From: Kevin Fetter []
    >> Sent: Friday, January 23, 2009 3:09 PM
    >> To:
    >> Subject: Re: Astra-5B
    >> Actually, they are talking about Astra 5A not Astra 5B.
    >> So there plans to send it, to the graveyard are off for the
    >> moment. Sounds like they won't be able to gain control of it.
    >> Kevin
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    Jim Scotti
    Lunar & Planetary Laboratory
    University of Arizona
    Tucson, AZ 85721 USA       
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