Re: OT: STS-107 Abort to ISS Possible?

Date: Tue Feb 04 2003 - 21:42:39 EST

  • Next message: Stephen Bolton: "Boston Globe Op/ Ed Article"

    In a message dated 2/4/2003 9:07:14 PM Eastern Standard Time, writes:
    >  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? 
    But could
    > it have been done - this time?
    The short answer is no.
    I'm going on memory here.  I'm sure someone will correct my errors....
    Problem #1.
    Inclination.  Long ago I heard that if the shuttle were launched and it needed to use
    all of its fuel to change its inclination it could only change it by 3 degrees.  
    STS-107 was at 39 deg.  The ISS is at 51.6 deg.
    Problem #2
    Orbital plane.  The ISS and the Mir both orbit(ed) at 51.6 deg.  When the ISS was
    launched it was intentionally launced at such a time as to assure that it would never
    (for all practical purposes) be in the same plane as the ISS.  In addition when
    Iridium spares are launched to put the spares in a particular plane, the launch window
    is 1 second.
    So even if it were at 51.6 deg inclination, it would still need to be in the same
    Don Gardner  39.1799 N, 76.8406 W, 100m ASL
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