RE: ISS rendezvous orbit for Soyuz

Date: Tue Apr 20 2004 - 09:48:17 EDT

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    For the last two years or so, MCC-Moscow has been putting the preliminary
    (circa L - 1 week) flight plans on their website.  For Soyuz TMA-4, see  If you have any semblance of an
    insertion orbit TLE, then this would get you the rest of the way through
    -----Original Message-----
    From: []On
    Behalf Of Thomas Fly
    Sent: Monday, April 19, 2004 10:03 PM
    To: SeeSat-L
    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
    time of rendezvous, the orbital planes must coincide (if Soyuz is initially
    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 that,
    between launch & rendezvous, Soyuz would catch up with the ISS- obviously,
    substantial rocket firing must be necessary to get Soyuz into the same orbit
    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
    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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