A Conversation for Man-made Satellites


Post 1

Barry Bethel

Having just finished a module on space communications I found your article very useful in revising for the exam smiley - smiley.

The reason for having to use rockets to keep the satellite in a stable GSO is to compensate for the W-E drift caused by the elipticity of the Earth, which causes the satellite to move to the stable orbit positions at mumble degrees West and 105 degrees East.
N-S drift is caused by gravitational forces caused by the sun and moon.

That's what we were told anyway, I thought you might like to know.


Post 2


Indeed, quite a nice overview of the GSO argument, shame most of the research these days is mostly doing something different. LEOs and microsats. What's the point in sending something the size of a car when you can do similar things (sometimes better) with a few TV sized devices. Shame Iridium went bust, they were trying to do something really inovative.
I wonder who's playing with all those sats whizzing about above us?


Post 3


I was at Iridium's website a couple of days ago - apparently they've managed to raise somemore money and will be back soon.


Post 4


Cool, I wouldn't like to think that the spooks had taken over the network (well they might have done but...)


Post 5

A Man In Black

The biggest problem with Iridium (outside of it's messing up a lot of astronomy projects with its highly reflective satellites) is the cost of the transceivers: at $ 3,000 per phone (the last price I heard quoted, about a year ago), it will never be able to compete with regular cellular.

If the prices for units don't go down, and I mean substantially, then Iridium is only postponing the inevitable!

By the way, if Iridium goes bust, the idea is to deorbit the satellites into the drink...

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