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  Vostok 1 international orbital nomenclature

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Author Topic:   Vostok 1 international orbital nomenclature
Colin E. Anderton
Member

Posts: 63
From: Newmarket, Suffolk, England
Registered: Feb 2009

posted 03-01-2011 10:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Colin E. Anderton   Click Here to Email Colin E. Anderton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
A thought has suddenly occurred to me...

Vostok 1 was designated "1961 MU 1" under the old international system. But why?

I have always understood that an object was not given an official international designation until it had completed a minimum of one orbit around the earth. As Gagarin fell slightly short of a complete circuit, why the official recognition?

Colin E. Anderton
Member

Posts: 63
From: Newmarket, Suffolk, England
Registered: Feb 2009

posted 03-08-2011 06:18 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Colin E. Anderton   Click Here to Email Colin E. Anderton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm surprised nobody has answered this question....

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 03-08-2011 06:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
National Air and Space Museum curator Cathleen Lewis addressed the question of Gagarin's orbital record in a reply to a previous thread:
...on the question of Gagarin's orbit, the Earth had rotated more than 1000 miles (close to 1500) while he was in orbit, therefore he did complete an entire orbit, his launch location had moved to the East.

Colin E. Anderton
Member

Posts: 63
From: Newmarket, Suffolk, England
Registered: Feb 2009

posted 03-08-2011 10:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Colin E. Anderton   Click Here to Email Colin E. Anderton     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks for the reply, Robert. I understand now.

FFrench
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Posts: 3093
From: San Diego
Registered: Feb 2002

posted 03-08-2011 12:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for FFrench     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm hoping someone with operational experience will chime in, but as I understand it Cathleen's interpretation of a spacecraft orbit is not what is generally used operationally by manned spacecraft trackers, who look at where the spacecraft is relative to the ground when calculating orbits, not looking at rotation of the earth and other factors.

Lou Chinal
Member

Posts: 946
From: Staten Island, NY
Registered: Jun 2007

posted 03-08-2011 08:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lou Chinal   Click Here to Email Lou Chinal     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
That's the difference between an orbit and a revolution.

All times are CT (US)

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