To-scale diagram of low, medium and high Earth orbits

Medium Earth orbit (MEO), sometimes called intermediate circular orbit (ICO), is the region of space around the Earth above low Earth orbit (altitude of 2,000 kilometres (Template:Convert/pround mi)) and below geostationary orbit (altitude of 35,786 kilometres (Template:Convert/pround mi)).[1]

The most common use for satellites in this region is for navigation, communication, and geodetic/space environment science.[1] The most common altitude is approximately 20,200 kilometres (Template:Convert/pround mi)), which yields an orbital period of 12 hours, as used, for example, by the Global Positioning System (GPS).[1] Other satellites in medium Earth orbit include Glonass (with an altitude of 19,100 kilometres (Template:Convert/pround mi)) and Galileo (with an altitude of 23,222 kilometres (Template:Convert/pround mi)) constellations.[citation needed] Communications satellites that cover the North and South Pole are also put in MEO.[2]

The orbital periods of MEO satellites range from about 2 to nearly 24 hours.[1] Telstar 1, an experimental satellite launched in 1962, orbits in MEO.[3]

The orbit is home to a number of artificial satellites.[1]

See alsoEdit




This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors). Smallwikipedialogo.png
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.