THE OPERATION OF MOLYNIYA COMMUNICATIONS SATELLITES.
ROYAL AIRCRAFT ESTABLISHMENT FARNBOROUGH (ENGLAND)
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The U.S.S.R. has launched to date October 1969 a total of twelve Molniya communications satellites, together with three objects in similar orbits designated as Cosmos satellites. These are in highly eccentric 12-hour orbits at an inclination of about 65 deg with apogee in the northern hemisphere near the northern apex. Such satellites are subject to resonance effects due to the longitude-dependence of the geopotential in much the same way as are synchronous satellites, and there is a stable configuration in which the apogees occur at particular longitudes relative to the earth. We conclude that the U.S.S.R. eventually established a viable system of communications satellites giving nearly complete 24-hour coverage of the Soviet Union at the end of 1968 with the trio Molniya 1H, 1J and 1K. Author
- Unmanned Spacecraft
- Spacecraft Trajectories and Reentry
- Radio Communications