Molniya orbit


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Molniya orbit

[′mōl·nē·ə ‚ȯr·bət]
(aerospace engineering)
An earth satellite orbit designed for communications satellite service coverage at high latitudes, with an orbital period of slightly less than 12 hours (semisynchronous orbit), inclination of 63.4°, and high eccentricity (0.722), so that the apogee (where the satellite lingers over the service coverage area) is at 25,000 miles (40,000 kilometers) and the perigee is at only 300 miles (500 kilometers).
References in periodicals archive ?
Eventually, such sensors should track all foreign satellites, but the geostationary orbit is a logical first step, given that the GSSAP will have access to nearly 600 satellites while many low Earth orbits (LEO) and even Molniya orbits contain only one or a few satellites.
Highly elliptical orbits, such as Molniya orbits, tend to have perigees in this range as well.
The KLC complex, with launch azimuths from 110 degrees to 220 degrees (from true north), was designed to provide launch support for polar, sun synchronous, tundra and molniya orbits and long-range suborbital ballistic missions.