[amsat-bb] Hand deployed satellites

Greg D ko6th.greg at gmail.com
Wed Aug 16 19:12:31 UTC 2017

I jokingly describe the launch of a satellite from the ISS as the crew
opening a window and tossing the satellite out.  But, in fact, there is
a very carefully planned direction to which the crew "toss" the
satellites.  I believe it's to the rear and below of the ISS, such that
when the orbits cross in the future there is no danger that the two will

If, for example, they were to push the satellites to the side of the
ISS, then an orbit later the two would meet again as the satellite's
orbit would be oscillating to one side and then the other of the ISS. 
Going to the rear, making the satellite's orbital velocity slightly
slower than the ISS, would put the satellite in a lower orbit.  But that
lower orbit makes the satellite complete its trip around the Earth
faster than the ISS, so should put it ahead of the ISS when they meet
again.  If launched behind and below, then by the time it gets around to
the ISS again, it should be far enough away that there would be no
possible danger of a collision.

Or, something like that.  I forget the details, but it's been discussed
here a while ago.

Greg  KO6TH

Peter Pauly wrote:
> Anyone know the details? I assume they would want to release them "towards
> earth" and not in the other direction so that they would have a lower orbit
> than the station and not run into them at some point. Do they just toss
> them out?

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