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40 nautical 600 nautical mile angular momentum vector apparent sun ascending node occurs axis Bandeen Goddard Space celestial equator cross the equator days after launch degrees per day degrees/day deviation direction EARTH OBLATENESS earth's equatorial earth's gravitational field equatorial plane Goddard Space Flight H Figure half-an-orbit later height H i i i i ideal orbit inclination angle injection error kilometers latitude line of nodes mean sun mile circular orbit NASA nautical mile circular NIMBUS METEOROLOGICAL SATELLITE Nimbus orbit nodal regression nodes advances noon noon-midnight number of orbits numerical values OBLATENESS AND RELATIVE orbit is achieved orbital nodes ORBITAL PERIOD orbital plane orbits per day phenomenon of nodal precession radius rate of advance relative motion RELATIVE SUN MOTION retrograde orbit revolving in orbit rotation satellite always cross SATELLITE by William SATELLITE PASSAGE satellite revolving solstice Space Flight Center spin vector SUN MOTION CONSIDERATIONS tion torque versus calendar date versus days