Universe, Volume 5, Issue 7 (July 2019) – 19 articles
Cover Story (view full-size image): The Highly Eccentric Relativity Orbiter (HERO) is a space-based mission concept which aims to perform several tests of post-Newtonian (pN) gravity with a preferably drag-free spacecraft in a highly elliptical orbit. HERO may detect, for the first time, the pN linear trend of the semimajor axis a induced by the Earth's quadrupole, amounting to ≃4–12 cm yr−1 for certain orbital configurations. The secular decay of a of a geodetic satellite was recently measured with an error of 0.7 cm yr−1. Also, the pN Lense-Thirring and Schwarzschild effects could be accurately tested, depending on the drag-free apparatus. Moreover, the large orbital eccentricity would allow one to constrain several modified models of gravity and to measure the gravitational redshift with improved accuracy as well. View this paper.
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