But the way Trek sensors work, the landing party is ALWAYS in sight, even when you're on the other side of the planet. This is directly implied in the ability of starships to scan the entire surface of a planet in LESS than the time it would take to orbit the entire thing; for whatever reason, some sensor devices do not require a direct line of sight. For probably the same reason, neither do transporters, hence it is possible to beam people into and out of caverns deep underground. There's no reason to assume the same mechanism that allows you to scan objects on the other side of the planet doesn't also apply to transporters. Again, there's the example of TSFS where Kirk is able to beam directly aboard the Enterprise from a transporter pad in San Francisco without having to wait for the station to come around to the right position; same again in TMP, where Kirk beams directly to the orbital office complex after a short meeting with Admiral Nogura. Orbital mechanics don't seem to be an issue at all. Though realistically, they probably should, but it's one of the various things (we have never minded) that Trek has seldom handled realistically. No, the satellites would have to do that themselves. Remember, the only way to deploy them without changing their apogee is to a series of plane-change maneuvers for each separate satellite. If Enterprise performed that manuever for them, it would get Satellite A into the right position but Satellite B into the wrong one, and Satellite C following them would be screwed. If, on the other hand, each satellite fires its maneuvering engines as soon as it is launched, all of them can change their orbital planes at the same time, and all of them reach final positions ALSO at the same time. This is evidently what V'ger's devices did in TMP; they were all launched on the same vector, but all executed plane-change maneuvers to proceed to an equidistant position around Earth. They would reach their final orbits at the same time, which would eventually bring them all to the same equatorial position at the same moment. Satellites never appear to until they start moving. But even THAT fails to be the case in "A Private Little War" where Enterprise intentionally changes orbits to avoid the Klingon warship on the other side. It also fails to be the case in TWOK where Enterprise is able to beam the landing party out of the Genesis cave from the OPPOSITE side of the planetoid from where they beamed in (Khan was over there, remember?). Most glaringly in "Descent Part II" where Enterprise avoids the Borg ship for a few critical moments by dropping out of warp on the opposite side of the planet and then IMMEDIATELY begins to beam landing parties aboard; it is too convenient to imagine that the Borg intentionally placed themselves on the opposite side of the planet from where Enterprise needed to be to get a transporter lock. It's not exactly as if Starships are slaves to newtonian mechanics like everything else in the heavens. But to say they habitually ignore it is too much of a stretch. The best you can say is that starships CAN maneuver any way they want, into and out of any orbit they like, even jumping into retrograde orbits at the drop of a hat. But it is illogical to assume that they would do this as a matter of course; it would be like claiming that harrier jets will hover in formation with an aircraft carrier and only land when they really really need to.