Re: ISS rendezvous orbit for Soyuz

From: Robert Holdsworth (
Date: Mon Apr 19 2004 - 14:49:21 EDT

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    Tracked this down after a little hunting:
    STS-96 elements are included in
    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: "Thomas Fly" <>
    To: "SeeSat-L" <>
    Sent: Tuesday, April 20, 2004 6:02 AM
    Subject: ISS rendezvous orbit for Soyuz
    > Kevin got a reply back from MCC saying they don't release TLEs for Soyuz
    > OIG may).
    > Assuming OIG doesn't- at least not in a timely manner- this seems like an
    > opportunity for the SeeSat folks.
    > Since changing a plane of orbit is expensive (except for the "free"
    > of orbital plane provided by the earth's equatorial bulge), it would seem
    > Soyuz must launch into approximately the same orbital plane as the ISS...
    at the
    > time of rendezvous, the orbital planes must coincide (if Soyuz is
    initially in
    > an elliptical orbit, with a shorter orbital period than the ISS, then its
    > orbital plane should precess a bit faster than that of the ISS).
    > It seems to me that initially you'd want to go into an elliptical orbit,
    > an apogee about the same as the ISS.  The orbital period would be such
    > between launch & rendezvous, Soyuz would catch up with the ISS- obviously,
    > substantial rocket firing must be necessary to get Soyuz into the same
    orbit as
    > the ISS, not long before rendezvous (i.e., basically circularizing its
    > The MCC has released TLEs for shuttle flights to the ISS, which should
    shed some
    > light on how rendezvous is accomplished- one would think that Soyuz & the
    > shuttles would do it basically in the same way.  Does anybody have the TLE
    > ephemeris for a past shuttle to ISS mission?
    > -------------------------------------------------------------------------
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