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Encyclopedia > Inclined orbit

A geostationary orbit occurs when an object (satellite) is placed 37,000 km (22,300 miles) above the Earth's equator with the characteristic that, from a fixed observation point on the Earth's surface, it appears motionless. When a satellite is placed in an inclined orbit it is moved along a longitudinal axis away from the equatorial plane by some amount. While the satellite remains geosynchronous (completing one revolution every 24 hours) it is no longer stationary, and from a fixed observation point on Earth, it would appear to trace a figure-eight (with the lobes extending North and South). This could be equated to the tilting of a hat where the brim is the path which the satellite takes. A geostationary orbit (abbreviated GEO) is a circular orbit directly above the Earths equator (0º latitude). ... A satellite is an object that orbits another object (known as its primary). ... The equator is an imaginary circle drawn around a planet at a distance halfway between the poles. ... Map of Earth showing curved lines of longitude Longitude, sometimes denoted by the Greek letter λ, describes the location of a place on Earth east or west of a north-south line called the Prime Meridian. ... In astronomy and navigation, the celestial sphere is an imaginary rotating sphere of gigantic radius, concentric with the Earth. ... A geosynchronous orbit is a geocentric orbit that has the same orbital period as the sidereal rotation period of the Earth. ...


A geostationary orbit is not stable. It takes regular manoeuvers to actively control it. The majority of the fuel spent for this purpose is to counteract the gravitational forces of Sun and Moon which mainly increase the inclination over time. At the end of the satellite's lifetime, when fuel approaches depletion, satellite operators may decide on omitting inclination manoeuvres and only control eccentricity. This could prolong the life-time of the satellite as it needs lesser fuel. On the other hand the satellite can only be used by ground antennae capable of following abovementioned north-south movement. Before the fuel comes to an end, satellites shall be moved to a graveyard orbit to keep the geostationary altitude free for subsequent missions. A graveyard orbit is an orbit where spacecraft are intentionally placed at the end of their operational life. ...


NASA maintains a Java based real-time display of most commercial satellites which can be helpful in visualizing the various orbits. External link: http://science.nasa.gov/RealTime/jtrack/3d/ NASA Logo Listen to this article · (info) This audio file was created from the revision dated 2005-09-01, and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. ... Java is a reflective, object-oriented programming language developed initially by James Gosling and colleagues at Sun Microsystems. ...


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Inclined orbit - definition of Inclined orbit in Encyclopedia (266 words)
A geostationary orbit occurs when an object (satellite) is placed 37,000 km (22,300 miles) above the Earth's equator with the characteristic that, from a fixed observation point on the Earth's surface, it appears motionless.
When a satellite is placed in an inclined orbit it is moved along a longitudinal axis away from the equatorial plane by some amount.
Before the fuel comes to an end, satellites shall be moved to a graveyard orbit to keep the geostationary altitude free for subsequent missions.
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