atmospheric drag


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atmospheric drag

[¦at·mə¦sfir·ik ′drag]
(fluid mechanics)
A major perturbation of close artificial satellite orbits caused by the resistance of the atmosphere; the secular effects are decreasing eccentricity, semidiameter, and period.
References in periodicals archive ?
These events often result in degraded GPS and radio signals, spacecraft damage, and increased atmospheric drag that can alter a satellite's orbit.
As the vehicle prepares to drop back the Earth, a tube around it should expand like a Hawaiian puffer fish, creating atmospheric drag to dramatically slow it down from Mach 4, or four times the speed of sound.
Solar radiation pressure and Earth-Moon perturbations were not taken into account as their effect is small compared to the atmospheric drag at 300 km.
While docked, ATV-4 performed six reboosts to keep the Space Station in orbit, counteracting the effects of atmospheric drag.
Elsewhere, bodies and body parts jutted into the picture plane, seemingly at random, as in Atmospheric Drag on Satellite, 1965, in which a headless figure edged in paper doll--like tabs, a second truncated profile, and a pair of disembodied arms are adrift in a field that collides various pictorial novelties of the moment: moody mottled sprays, stenciled dors, neon spatters, and blue stripes in a hard-edge band.
During that time, atmospheric drag slowed the probe and caused it to drop lower and lower until it re-entered the atmosphere.
Because it may be tumbling along under atmospheric drag instead of solar radiation pressure, some purists insist it isn't a true solar sail.
These "muzzle velocity" arrow speeds are highly misleading, as fletching and atmospheric drag diminish arrow speed considerably beyond 15, 30 or 45 yards.
Satellites are affected by atmospheric drag below an altitude of 700 km above the earth's surface.
They deliver lethal energy at the speed of light--about 300,000 kilometers per second--and are not subject to physical constraints such as gravity and atmospheric drag.
QinetiQ's electric engines act as cruise control for the spacecraft, continuously compensating for this atmospheric drag and quite literally preventing the spacecraft from falling out of the sky.
The atmospheric drag is acting as a breaking force.

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