Garmaine Staff asked 3 years ago

Previous "method to the maddness" questions: 1, 2.

The image below is from Why does TDRS 1's inclination evolve so much differently than that of all the others starting in 1995? and I've used it a few other places as well:

Today I just noticed that in the early 2000's there was an existing triplet of TDRS satellites whose inclination was around 6 degrees and increasing and a new triplet deployed also at about 6 degrees, but also such that their inclination is decreasing!

Once those three (TDRS 8, 9, and 10) bottomed out and turned around and reached about 6 degrees continuing to increase, a second triplet was deployed at 6 degrees with decreasing inclination!


  1. When one deploys a satellite in geostationary orbit, how does one choose to deploy it in either an increasing or decreasing inclination state?
  2. Why are these TDRS triplets deployed in this manner?

enter image description here