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Geosynchronous Orbit (Posted on 2004-06-05) Difficulty: 2 of 5
A prominent politician recently proposed, as part of our SDI, to place a defensive satellite in geosynchronous orbit directly above Washington, D.C.

What if anything is wrong with his suggestion?

See The Solution Submitted by SilverKnight    
Rating: 2.6000 (5 votes)

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Solution Impossible Orbit | Comment 3 of 13 |

I agree with rixar.

Anything in orbit has the center of the earth as the center of the orbit.  A satellite has to be over the equator to be in geosynchronous orbit.  A satellite over Washington DC could be the correct distance from the earth and could stay at the correct longitude and time zone at all times, but if it were directly over Washington at, say, noon, then at midnight it would be directly south of Washington DC with the same numeric value of latitude but over the southern hemisphere.

As far as the hot air coming out of Washington DC, it could perhaps result in a wind shear in Beijing adversely affecting a butterfly's wing, but would not disrupt the satellite's orbit.  Unless of course it occurred precisely at noon, which would be impossible since the government shuts down at noon for lunch.


  Posted by Larry on 2004-06-05 14:35:28
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