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By Giulio Avanzini

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A Low Earth Orbit (LEO) is confined between 200 and 600 km, the lower limit being related to the increase in atmospheric drag for lower altitudes, the upper one due to the Van Allen radiation belts, which are harmful to humans and detrimental for solar cells and some instruments. 03). A LEO assures safe manned flight, and constitutes an efficient parking orbit for an interplanetary mission. Moreover it guarantees high photographic resolution at the price of limited ground visibility. A High Earth Orbit (HEO), above 10,000 km altitude, is drag free and safe from radiation; a large part of the Earth’s surface can be seen at one time.

9, the same rocket has a greater payload for launches from a base close to the equator (δ → 0), and for an easterly launch (ψ = π/2). The orbital inclination will be the minimum achievable and equal to the latitude of the launch site. Greater inclinations, up to the limit value π − δ, are achievable from the same site with payload reduction; retrograde orbits require a westerly launch. The same inclination can be achieved with two different launch azimuths, if both are inside the safety constraints.

FP is also a non–rotating, but its orientation depends on the particular orbit considered. 7, where the more general problem of the coordinate transformation is presented for the specific case of passage from perifocal to geocentric–equatorial components. 3 Classical Orbital Elements A Keplerian trajectory is uniquely defined by 6 parameters. e. the spacecraft position and velocity at epoch, could be used, but a different set of parameters, which provides an immediate description of the G. Colasurdo, G.

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