Air Density at Heights near 200 km from Analysis of the Orbit of 1969-20B
ROYAL AIRCRAFT ESTABLISHMENT FARNBOROUGH (UNITED KINGDOM)
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The rocket of Cosmos 268, 1969-20B, entered orbit on 5 March 1969, with an initial perigee height of 230 km and inclination of 48.40 degrees. Accurate orbits were computed at RAE from all available observations. Using the values of perigee height from the RAE orbit and decay rates from Spacetrack bulletins, 103 values of density have been calculated between July 1969 and February 1970. On three occasions when geomagnetic activity was strong there were sudden increases in density. When the density was corrected to a fixed height, the semi-annual variation was apparent. There was a strong minimum in July 1969, a maximum in October-November 1969 and a weak minimum in January 1970.
- Atmospheric Physics
- Spacecraft Trajectories and Reentry