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Re: ISS a Satellite or an airplane?

On Sep 15, 2007, at 2:49 AM, Eric H. Christensen wrote:

> Well does that mean that if we launch a satellite with an engine of  
> some
> kind that it keeps it from being a satellite?  All geo-sync satellites
> have some kind of thruster onboard to keep them in that orbit or to  
> move
> them to a new orbit.  I don't think the ISS can be taken out of orbit
> but it definitely changes its orbit by control.

Plenty of satellites have thrusters or other means of exerting force  
to move in their orbits.

Ask the commercial geosync satellite folks if they carry station- 
keeping propellant, and what they do with the birds when they run out  
of it.

Oh and it definitely *could* be taken out of orbit.  SkyLab was.  Mir  
was.  :-)

It'd fly really well without wings... for a short time.  And a fairly  
predictable value of "short".

Maybe they could call it an airplane THEN, one on its way to its one  
and only (hopefully) unmanned crash landing.


If they do call it an airplane, it'll need a ferry permit for the  
flight, an Airworthiness Certificate or waiver, a Pilot's operating  
handbook with written limitations including stall speeds and other  
important items, and a proper weight and balance done before it even  
meets the bare documentation requirements.

Depending on airspace being flown through, it may need a working  
Transponder, not to mention numerous Supplemental Type Certificates  
for all those modifications it's had done to it on-orbit!

And then it doesn't have the necessary equipment on board for legal  
VFR flight, let alone IFR flight.  (GRIN)  We'll start with shipping  
them up an altimeter and a magnetic compass so they don't get lost on  
the way down...

LOL!   What a joke.  Airplane my eye.

Nate Duehr, WY0X

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