Mir/Shuttle ... who is chasing who?

Bill Krosney (bkrosney@MBnet.MB.CA)
Thu, 27 Jun 1996 13:30:34 -0500 (CDT)

Being "latitude challenged" here at 50N, have been looking ahead with some
interest for the next scheduled Mir/Shuttle rendezvous mission slated for
first week of Aug.96.

Based on Mir's current orbit, and it shouldn't change drastically by then,
there will be some excellent morning and evening passes of Mir (and I'm
assuming the Shuttle) during the first week of August.

I'm particularly interested into any maneuvers the Shuttle will be making
prior to docking.  Launch is set for 23:42 EDT July 31/96.  Mir's orbital
plane passes over the launch site (no surprise...).  Mir itself follows
behind by about half an hour.

I am under the impression, correct me if I am wrong, that the Shuttle 
usually travels in a slightly lower, shorter orbital period, orbit to
allow it to "catch" Mir.

Are the odds that they will do the same thing this time?

There is a shorter distance to cover if they take a higher orbit and
allow Mir to catch them.  The mission profile (or whatever it is called)
when released will give a timetable for the day in the mission they are
expected to dock.  But specifics such as what I am after I don't know
where they are available (or even if they are!).

Comments?

Thanks in advance ..... Bill


e-mail: bkrosney@richgreen.com (work)
        bkrosney@mbnet.mb.ca   (home)