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Express-AM4 Satellite Salvage Plan For Antarctic Internet In Jeopardy 46

First time accepted submitter amcenwest writes with news on the fate of the mis-launched Ekspress-AM4. From the article: "A modern, state of the art communications satellite stranded last August in a useless orbit will constitute a double failure if Russian officials de-orbit the spacecraft as planned, according to an expert from the team hoping to salvage the spacecraft. 'A new Express AM4 orbit could provide 14 to 16 hours of daily Internet coverage for the international scientific research bases in Antarctica,' said Readdy." Unfortunately, the satellite is scheduled to begin a deorbiting burn between March 20th and 26th, so it looks unlikely that it can be salvaged at this point.
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Express-AM4 Satellite Salvage Plan For Antarctic Internet In Jeopardy

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  • by HBI ( 604924 ) on Monday March 19, 2012 @08:21PM (#39408971) Journal

    Serious question: why isn't it possible to put a set of birds in polar orbits and just do handoffs a few times a day as they move through their orbits? Or is Antarctic research not worth lofting 3-4 birds in a circumpolar orbit separated by 90 to 120 degrees?

  • by AikonMGB ( 1013995 ) on Monday March 19, 2012 @09:11PM (#39409289) Homepage

    Addendum: the problem with doing two cubes in inverted Molniya orbits is that nobody goes there, which means you are going to have to secure your own dedicated launch, which is very expensive. The benefit of chaining a number of nanosats in standard LEO sun-synchronous polar orbits is that everyone goes there, which means hitching a (cheap) ride as a secondary payload is much more feasible.

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