AW: STS-107 Abort to ISS Possible?

From: Scaramuzza (
Date: Wed Feb 05 2003 - 15:56:15 EST

  • Next message: Dale Ireland: "RE: Joshua Tree location"

    That's right. Some time ago I have written an article on the possibility of
    changing the GPS constellation following 11/9. There I have made some rough
    estimations on the amount of propellant to be used in order to carry out
    inclination and right ascencion changes. Some examples are explained. For
    example for an inclination change of 30 degree with O2/H2 propellant would
    require that the satellite has to carry 36% of it own mass in form of
    propellant in order to achieve this change. This is only valid for a GPS
    orbit, but it gives an idea on the large amount of propellant to use for
    such maneuvres. The situation is even worse for changes in ascending nodes.
    You can find the entire article with the required equations to calculate the
    approximate need of propellant for the Shuttle under (3161KB) or (4778KB).
    Unfortunately the needed equations are at the end of the document. For those
    who don't want to download the entire article can go to (76KB)
    which contains only the last five pages of the document (note that the
    chapter and page numbering are altered in this reduced document).
    No can do.  While the altitude is a problem, the main issue is
    the plane change.  Orbital inclination changes are VERY expensive in
    terms of propellant, and there's a huge difference between a
    39-degree inclination orbit and a 51.6-degree inclination.  --Rob
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