[FPSPACE] FW: MetOp satellite
svengrahn at telia.com
Thu Apr 20 15:15:53 EDT 2006
At 17:20 2006-04-20 +0000, Bob Christy wrote:
>The south-easterly trajectory used for previous sun-synchronous launches out
>of Baikonur takes the vehicle over Afghanistan. In the "old" days that was
>the first country to be encountered outside the borders of the USSR.
>Nowadays Uzbekistan is the first landfall and would probably be the
>"recipient" of of first or second stage debris as well as the consequences
>of an early shut-down of a launcher.
>Co-incidentally, as I recall, Afghanistan had just been invaded by the USSR
>when the first Soviet sun-synchronous satellite was launched. Uzbekistan was
>part of the Soviet Union, so all was well.
>With the recent changes of politics - independence for Uzbekistan,
>Afghanistan now being in the USA's sphere of influence, a south-east launch
>is probably no longer a viable option. The north-westerly path out od
>Baikonur keeps the ascent trajectory over Russia.
>Regarding a launch out of Plesetsk - I'm not sure that a Russian rocket
>being lobbed over the north pole in the general direction of America would
>be any more of a good idea nowadays than it was in the 1980s and 1990s, even
>though a relative "thaw" in superpower relations has taken place.
It has been done with the Kosmos-3M, but then this is a two-stage vehicle
with no stage impacting anywhere near continental US. But, the
Instantaneous Impact Point (IIP) trace passes quite near to L.A.!
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