Life-time of an Artificial Earth Satellite

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Fejer1 and Scott2 have given simple methods for estimating the remaining life-time of an artificial Earth satellite. Their methods do not apply when the eccentricity is small, and it is not immediately clear why the estimates are so good (cf. particularly Scott's data for the descent of the rocket of 1957 Alpha Satellite). Nevertheless, it has been found possible to show that their formulæ are accurate so long as the eccentricity is not too large.

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  1. 1

    Fejer, J. A., Nature, 180, 1413 (1957).

  2. 2

    Scott, J. M. C., Nature, 180, 1467 (1957).

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LESLIE, D. Life-time of an Artificial Earth Satellite. Nature 181, 403–404 (1958) doi:10.1038/181403a0

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