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Re: Elliptical/GTO and Eagle



>Can the over the pole orbital launch be modified to be less than a 90
>degree inclination.

Joe,

If you launch a rocket due east from a given site, you attain the
minimum inclination possible from that site. That inclination is equal
to the site's latitude.

This is why you see so many shuttles launched into ~28.5 degree
orbits, as Cape Canaveral is at 28.5 deg N latitude. And it shows why
most Russian spacecraft are in high inclination orbits.

You can only lower the inclination from the launch site latitude with
a plane change burn, and these can be extremely expensive in
fuel. That's what gives Kourou, at 5.2 deg N, its advantage over Cape
Canaveral when launching geostationary communication satellites that
need 0 degree inclination orbits.

So northern launch sites like Alaska are really good only for high
inclination orbits.

Phil



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