Re: Low Earth Orbit - Combat Manueverable

Message posted by Griffon_314 on March 14, 2018 at 11:08:41 PST:

Indeed we don't know about classified programs being conducted by various countries, most importantly the US.

However, some aspects of orbital dynamics are grounded in basic laws of physics, which bend for no black budget.

If it's in orbit, it's going 7.8+ km/s - no exceptions. Anything going slower, is falling to Earth.

There's evidence to suggest that the US is experimenting with "high delta-V" (i.e. maneuverable) spacecraft - analysis of the X-37B's orbit adjustments show that it doesn't possess high delta-V, but it may launch and recover small payloads that do. US research into "proximity operations" seems to point to very small spacecraft that can make large orbit adjustments, albeit relatively slowly.

But basic physics means that all vehicles operating in space near Earth are in orbit, and therefore they cannot appear to "hover" in the sky for 15 minutes.

I'm all for reasonable speculation based on evidence and science - this website has done some great work in that regard. I'm just pointing out that classified programs aren't magic - they still obey the laws of physics.

People not familiar with space operations have a natural inclination to think that military platforms in space will "fly" the way fighter aircraft do. Movies like Star Wars reinforce this idea. But that isn't how real spaceflight works :)

In Reply to: Re: Low Earth Orbit - Combat Manueverable posted by greatguess on March 14, 2018 at 7:32:50 PST:


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