OT: STS-107 Abort to ISS Possible?

From: Curt Porter (portercw@bellsouth.net)
Date: Tue Feb 04 2003 - 21:07:14 EST

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       First let me say how much I appreciate all the very high quality
    information posted to this list. I learn something with every post.
       I am still wondering about the possibility of an escape to ISS.
    Yes, the orbits are significantly different. But, while NASA says
    that Columbia was too heavy to reach ISS, this is based on getting 
    there and back to Earth again, and in a short time frame. This is
    also based on staying within NASA's very conservative safety and
    performance parameters.
      If, flight day one, it was decided that Columbia was mortally damaged,
    then standard flight safety margins are no longer useful. Making the
    most economical use of propellant, using time windows when the orbits
    were advantageous, using even preturbations from Sun and Moon, all would
    take time, but they would have two weeks or more to do it. ISS has
    some manoeuvering ability also, would this not help? I am remembering
    the tremendous job of "momentum management" NASA performed with the
    Skylab back in the old days.
       Certainly, this would be on a case-by-case basis, as the launch
    time vs. Ap vs. RAAN of both vehicles would be critical. But could
    it have been done - this time?
    best regards to all,
    "Those who would give up liberty, for safety, deserve neither,
     and will soon have none." - Dr. Benjamin Franklin - 1776
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