Ronald Held wrote:
I aways assumed a powered orbit, given certain references to short orbital periods and the ability ot "hang" over a given ground site for long periods of time.
The "hang" could be caused by apoapsis dwell if the Enterprise employs highly elliptical (i.e., Molniya-Class) satellite orbits in order to stay above the landing party's horizon for the maximum possible time during every orbital period in the event an emergency beam-out is required. Of course, this is highly dependent on the subject planet's diameter, gravitational potential and sidereal rotation rate, although one may propose that in a majority of cases the space vehicle's orbit is artificially precessed by firing the impulse engines briefly at periapsis in order to keep the apoapsis directly over the landing party's position during each pass. OTOH, an idling warp drive may be able to sufficiently amplify the Lense-Thirring (i.e., relativistic "gravito-magnetic" frame dragging) effect when the orbit's inclination is close to equatorial for the same purpose depending upon which propulsion system is more energy efficient for a particular planet/orbit combination.