high-inclination orbit

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An orbit of a spacecraft that has a high tilted angle from the equator. The Russian space station Mir and the International Space Station (ISS), both at an angle of 51.6°, and NASA's Hawkeye (Explorer 52), at nearly 90°, all have high-inclination orbits. At such an angle, the radiation danger increases for astronauts, such as those making space walks from the ISS. Spacecraft launched into a high-inclination orbit receive no free ride from the Earth's rotation, and NASA conducts such launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California to avoid population centres.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics.

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