Last updated on April 19, 2014 at 6:57 EDT
Geostationary Transfer Orbit
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Geostationary Transfer Orbit

October 15, 2009
This is slide 13 of 20 from the first Giotto slide set. The following caption is the one originally provided with the slide set.

The Ariane 1 rocket places the Giotto spacecraft in a geostationary transfer orbit (nominal parameters, perigee: 200 km, apogee: 36 000 km, inclination: 10°, period: 10.5 hours). AOS MAL refers to acquisition of signal by the Malindi ground station in Kenya, LOS -loss of signal, CAR refers to the Carnarvon ground station in Australia. After nominally 3 revolutions in the GTO the onboard solid propellant boost motor is fired close to perigee (before firing the spacecraft will be spun up from 15 rpm to 90 rpm) to inject the spacecraft into the heliocentric transfer trajectory. This will be the first time that an ESA spacecraft reaches interplanetary space.