Re: STS Launch Question

From: Edward S Light (
Date: Tue Dec 04 2001 - 14:30:47 EST

  • Next message: Ed Davies: "Re: STS Launch Question"

    On Tue, 4 Dec 2001 wrote:
    > It seems to me that whenever the Shuttle was launched
    > for a Mir docking or an ISS docking, the respective
    > Space Station would lead the shuttle at launch time by
    > 20 minutes or so.  Today's launch seem like a radical
    > departure (so to speak) from past launches (< 5 minute
    > difference).
    > Does anyonw know why?
    I believe that all that really matters is that the shuttle be
    launched when the launch site passes under the (northbound leg
    of the) target's orbital plane. Orbital plane changes are very
    expensive, propellant-wise, while raising the orbit to ISS'
    height is relatively cheap. The relative phasing of the STS
    and ISS within the orbital plane is likely a secondary consideration.
    Clear and dark skies!
       Ed Light
    Lakewood, NJ, USA
    N 40.1075, W 074.2312, +24 m (80 ft)
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