# Areostationary orbit

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An areostationary orbit or areosynchronous equatorial orbit (abbreviated AEO) is a circular areo­synchronous orbit in the Martian equatorial plane about 20,428 km (12,693 mi) above the surface, any point on which revolves about Mars in the same direction and with the same period as the Martian surface. Areo­stationary orbit is a concept similar to Earth's geo­stationary orbit. The prefix areo- derives from Ares, the ancient Greek god of war and counterpart to the Roman god Mars, with whom the planet was identified. The modern Greek word for Mars is Άρης (Áris).

To date, no artificial satellites have been placed in this orbit, but it is of interest to some scientists foreseeing a future tele­communications network for the exploration of Mars.[1] The proposed Mars One mission includes a communications system featuring amongst others things an areostationary satellite.[2] An asteroid or station placed in areostationary orbit could also be used to construct a Martian space elevator for use in transfers between the surface of Mars and orbit.

## Formula

Orbital speed (how fast a satellite is moving through space) is calculated by multiplying the angular speed of the satellite by the orbital radius:[citation needed]

${\displaystyle R_{syn}={\sqrt[{3}]{G(m2)T^{2} \over 4\pi ^{2}}}}$[3]
G = Gravitational constant
m2 = Mass of the celestial body
T = rotational period of the body

By this formula we can find the geostationary-type orbit of an object in relation to Mars (this type of orbit above is referred to as an areostationary orbit if it is above Mars).

We know the mass of Mar is 6.39 x ${\displaystyle 10^{23}}$, and the rotational period of Mars is 24 hours and 39 minutes. If we do the math we get 20,428 km (12693 mi). [4]

## Stationkeeping

Any satellites in areostationary orbit will likely suffer from increased orbital station keeping costs, because the Clarke belt of Mars lies between the orbits of the planet's two natural satellites. Phobos has a semi-major axis of 9,376 km, and Deimos has a semi-major axis of 23,463 km. The close proximity to Phobos in particular (the larger of the two moons) will cause unwanted orbital resonance effects that will gradually shift the orbit of areostationary satellites.