Transit time from Low Earth Orbit to a Geostationary Orbit

Alistair

Hi there.
This is my first time in "space."
In fact, I have learned more about space - and space travel in the last few months than ever before - as I am writing a fictional children's book about a young space explorer. I began writing it in October - with a launch date planned for late in the year or early 2025!
I am wondering if anyone can give me some guidance on how long - approximately - it would take a spaceship the size of the shuttle to transit from a low earth orbit to a geostationary orbit.

Is it hours, days, or weeks?

Would the spaceship have to undergo a "burn" to commence the transition - and then carry out another "burn" to stabilse when in the new orbit?

Although the book is (hopefully) going to be filled with funny-far-fetched episodes - I also want to have a semblance of credibility when it comes to distances and times to move from one location to another.

Alistair

Catastrophe

"Science begets knowledge, opinion ignorance.
Welcome Alistair.

It seems to me that you have your answer. Whatever the approach (e.g., low Earth orbit), you arrive at the location and need to adjust your velocity to get your geostationary effect. The time needed, as I see it, depends on the sensitivity of the 'burn' controls. If you have a fine degree of control, it should not take long - probably minutes, or less. If the controls are more 'rough', meaning you might overdo the burn, put on the brakes resulting in overcorrection - then overdo burn again - it could take any time. Does this sound reasonable?

Arriving at your location, and pointing in the right direction, you adjust your velocity carefully and slowly until the ground appears stationary beneath you. My guess (depending on sensitivity) would be, say, five minutes or so.

Cat

Alistair

billslugg

If using discrete impulses, not an ion drive which gets you there gradulally, it always takes two burns to raise a circular orbit. One burn puts you up there and the second burn brings you up to speed. If you did them both at the same time you would overshoot your altitude, end up with an eliptical orbit.

Alistair

Alistair

Welcome Alistair.

It seems to me that you have your answer. Whatever the approach (e.g., low Earth orbit), you arrive at the location and need to adjust your velocity to get your geostationary effect. The time needed, as I see it, depends on the sensitivity of the 'burn' controls. If you have a fine degree of control, it should not take long - probably minutes, or less. If the controls are more 'rough', meaning you might overdo the burn, put on the brakes resulting in overcorrection - then overdo burn again - it could take any time. Does this sound reasonable?

Arriving at your location, and pointing in the right direction, you adjust your velocity carefully and slowly until the ground appears stationary beneath you. My guess (depending on sensitivity) would be, say, five minutes or so.

Cat
Thanks Cat. That's good info as I thought a transition from a Low Erath Orbit to a Geostationary Orbit would take many hours or a day or two. As I am writing a fictional children's book, I think I'll make it about an hour - as the character in the book is a learner astronaut!

Alistair

If using discrete impulses, not an ion drive which gets you there gradulally, it always takes two burns to raise a circular orbit. One burn puts you up there and the second burn brings you up to speed. If you did them both at the same time you would overshoot your altitude, end up with an eliptical orbit.
Thanks for the info - as I hadn't heard about discrete impulses or ion drives. Time to do some more homework- although my main goal is to get the timing right regarding the transition from a low earth orbit to a geostationary orbit. If I make it to be about an hour - I hope readers will be happy with that.

billslugg

Thanks for the info - as I hadn't heard about discrete impulses or ion drives. Time to do some more homework- although my main goal is to get the timing right regarding the transition from a low earth orbit to a geostationary orbit. If I make it to be about an hour - I hope readers will be happy with that.
It would have to take much longer than one hour. You are only a couple hundred miles up in LEO. You must go to a point 20,000 miles higher. Your third stage engine might get you a couple thousand miles per hour. It might take you a couple days to get up there.

Alistair

Alistair

It would have to take much longer than one hour. You are only a couple hundred miles up in LEO. You must go to a point 20,000 miles higher. Your third stage engine might get you a couple thousand miles per hour. It might take you a couple days to get up there.
Okay - thanks. Appreciate the feedback. The next obstacle my young astronaut is about to face is a spacewalk!

Catastrophe

"Science begets knowledge, opinion ignorance.
The time needed, as I see it, depends on the sensitivity of the 'burn' controls. If you have a fine degree of control, it should not take long - probably minutes, or less. If the controls are more 'rough', meaning you might overdo the burn, put on the brakes resulting in overcorrection - then overdo burn again - it could take any time.

I stand by this. No question.

Cat

Alistair

Alistair

I stand by this. No question.

Cat
Thanks Cat. Valid points for me to consider.

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