Re: Distance from ISS

From: Vitek, Antonin (
Date: Sun Dec 16 2001 - 14:18:37 EST

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    Sebastian Stabroth wrote:
    > Hello,
    > > Does anyone know what is the minimum distance that a piece of space junk
    > > can pass from the ISS or Space Shuttle, and mission control will just sit
    > > back and watch?
    > the manoeuvre box extensions for STS are +/-2 km x +/-5 km x +/-2 km (radial x along-track
    > x out-of-plane). Don't know about ISS. An avoidance procedure is initiated, if a
    > conjunction is predicted in the manoeuvre box, and if mission objectives are not
    > compromised.
    See the following reference:
    International Space Station debris avoidance operations / L. Foster, J.
    Frisbee, M. Wortham, L. Howorth. - Orbital Debris Quarterly News,
         Vol. 6, April 2001, Iss. 2, p. 4. - [Cit. 2001-05-21]. 
    (from this page proceed to the cited article).
    Most interesting part of the article follows:
    <begin quote>
    USSPACECOM maintains Cartesian state vectors for all objects with
    perigees below 600 km, on a special Astrodynamics Workstation (ASW). If
    a conjunction is predicted within a 40x80x80 (u, v, w) km pizza box
    about ISS, conjunctor tasking is increased and the object is watched.
    The Johnson Space Center (JSC) flight controllers are notified if the
    object is predicted to come within a 4x50x50 km box, 72 hours from
    conjunction. If the collision probability is greater than 10-4 and the
    conjunction geometry has remained stable for three of the last 4 state
    vector updates prior to the time an avoidance maneuver decision must be
    made, a maneuver is performed if operationally feasible.
    <end quote>
    Mgr. Antonin Vitek, CSc.
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