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Old October 16 2011, 11:24 PM   #60
CorporalCaptain's Avatar
Location: North America
Re: TOS Enterprise Question...

If I may, I'll add one further set of comments.

In a free fall orbit, which I've modeled, no power is necessary to maintain altitude. Now eventually, in reality, due to perturbations from various sources, the orbit could decay; the planet is not really a point mass, there are other gravitating bodies in the system, etc.

Even though this is so, for even extended periods, measured in hours, days, or more, the ship is free to reorient in any direction.

At such an altitude as this, it would only need to correct its orbit every now and then. For these corrections, the ship should fix its orientation in preparation to fire the impulse drive, and then fire the impulse engines and make the correction, after which it may freely reorient arbitrarily.
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