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NASA/SOFIA Star Shades in night time orbits for permanent eclipse 2.0

December 18, 2014

This post is a continuance of nuclear powered spy sats in night-time obits for permanent eclipse 1.5. here we discuss using the NASA/SOFIA  airborne observatory in conjunction with two  star shade spacecraft in Molniya orbits. Another spacecraft would be in super synchronous orbit.

All 4 spacecraft would need to  ion powered  so that future occultations could allow for SOFIA airborne observatory the star shade to maneuver into position.The two Molniya spacecraft would have a perigee  in the sunlight so  to allow for both spacecraft and aircraft to be in darkness most of Apogee.We Would Need a second spacecraft with a perigee over the daytime northern hemisphere.

The object here is to occult astronomic objects with earth orbiting star-shades or oculters so that SOFIA could maneuver under tha shadow for a few seconds to collect data

I have a plan  for spacecraft in darkness for  large part of their orbits ; A small fission reactor with the SFR radiator inside  the spent stage fuel or oxidizer tank, the tank ullage gas is Argon or Xenon as described here,

https://yellowdragonblog.com/2014/09/27/nuclear-powered-spy-sats-in-night-time-orbits-for-permanent-eclipse-1-5/

https://yellowdragonblog.com/2014/07/26/night-time-polar-synchronous-hybrid-chemicalnep-stage-for-classified-missions/

https://yellowdragonblog.com/2014/03/26/hybrid-small-fission-reactor-pressurized-argonhelium-capsule-as-ion-powered-sep-stage/

Other possibilities are MEO eclipse but these might be too fast for SOFIA to track an object?  Or perhaps SOFIA could better track from a Tundra orbit?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tundra_orbit

These star shade spacecraft lend themselves to multiple use ? And/or could be a partner project with Canada

http://spaceref.ca/missions-and-programs/canadian-space-agency/polar-communication-and-weather-mission/the-polar-communications-and-weather-mission-cant-come-soon-enough.html

NSF communications with Antarctic bases could be another dual use?

EDIT 25 December 2014

http://space.stackexchange.com/questions/3565/are-there-any-lagrange-points-in-the-solar-system-in-perpetual-shade

Perhaps a star shade at L-2 with the Earth rotating below with SOFIA in flight might work?

seeking Mentor Protege

Veteran small business set aside

Steven Torry Rappolee
Terrestrial & Cislunar Exploration technologies
A Post 9/11 Veteran owned concern
810 334 4374
Fax 810 449 5484
UM Flint Student Business Incubator, #207
423 North Saginaw Street,Flint, Michigan, 48502

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