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Re: Amateur Satellites Slated



Joel Black <jbblack1@bellsouth.net> asked:

>How far North is Baikonour (spelling?)?

A very quick check of a standard reference (Space
Mission Analysis and Design) says that Baikonur/Tyuratam,
Kazakhstan is 45 degrees 54 minutes north, 63 degrees
18 minutes east. Any decent atlas will produce similar
figures.

The most efficient launch, on a due east heading, will
produce an orbital inclination equal to the launch
site's latitude. The Soviets always launched on a
northerly heading, keeping the launches in Soviet
airspace as long as possible. The Russians have
continued this (Beijing are still jumpy about things
in ballistic trajectories aimed at them), hence the
51 degree inclinations of Mir and ISS.

The minimum inclination is always the latitude of the
launch site. Orbital plane changes are expensive (see,
for example, Bate, Mueller and White, chapter 3), so
good launch sites for geostationary satellites are
close to the equator. Plesetsk (63 degrees north)
is perfect for Molniya orbits. Vandenberg launches
more-or-less south (azimuths from 140 to 201 degrees,
orbital inclinations from 56 to 104 degrees), but
that's more to do with geography than with orbital
mechanics...

Laura Halliday VE7LDH     "Que les nuages soient notre
Grid: CN89mg               pied a terre..."
                                   - Hospital/Shafte

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