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The Science [and Art] of Orbital Rendezvous

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posted on Aug, 29 2014 @ 10:48 PM
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I worked in Mission Control, Houston, for more than twenty years, mainly focussed on orbital rendezvous operations. I “wrote the book” on many aspects of that esoteric art, including a guidebook on the methodology and rationale of crew procedures to achieve this goal, and a collection of source papers and analysis summaries of the history of the development of this capability. I’ve recently scanned and posted these two documents at my home page, for those interested.

Rendezvous and Proximity Operations Handbook == My 1985 book for NASA, "Rendezvous and Proximity Operations Flight Crew Procedures Handbook", describes how astronauts used space shuttle sensors and controls to achieve rendezvous with other space vehicles in orbit.
www.jamesoberg.com...


"A History of Orbital Rendezvous" (NASA, 1991)"
www.jamesoberg.com...




posted on Aug, 29 2014 @ 10:57 PM
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nasa


trajectories

Thanks a ton James.

Downloading now!


Mike Grouchy
edit on 29-8-2014 by mikegrouchy because: format and links



posted on Aug, 29 2014 @ 11:22 PM
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a reply to: JimOberg
Thank you

can't seam to stop myself
so
Thanks, downloading too



posted on Aug, 30 2014 @ 12:19 AM
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Impressive. Reading what I can.
Thanks.



posted on Aug, 30 2014 @ 12:52 AM
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Wow, I learned something in the brief reading so far. The 10:1 and 2:1 rules are so important.,

And the fact that:

"The altitude of the point at which the “delta-V”
maneuver occurred did not change. More maneuvers are required to
do that, so as to circularize the orbit. "


I never realized that the altitude changes immediately put you out of a circular orbit, and then multiple changes need to be made from that one maneuver to get it circular again. Cool stuff.



posted on Aug, 30 2014 @ 04:17 AM
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originally posted by: charlyv
I never realized that the altitude changes immediately put you out of a circular orbit, and then multiple changes need to be made from that one maneuver to get it circular again. Cool stuff.

Yep, orbital mechanics are fussy like that. A circular orbit is a perfect balance between speed and gravity at any given altitude. Any change in speed or altitude upsets this balance. If you think about it, "going higher" doesn't involve firing engines downwards, or tilting the nose of the spacecraft up, like they do it with aircraft. Spacecraft in orbit simply fire their engines horizontally, which gives them higher velocity, which in turn raises their orbit. But it also makes the orbit elliptical, and the need to fire engines again to circularise the new orbit.

www.orbiterwiki.org...
www.math.ubc.ca...

Here's a cool animation of the process: www.youtube.com...

edit on 30-8-2014 by wildespace because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 30 2014 @ 09:04 AM
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a reply to: JimOberg

Ever play the video game Kerbal Space Program? Its a fun space sim...your post made me think of it. Thanks for the share, looks interesting.



posted on Aug, 31 2014 @ 07:41 PM
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As a historical footnote, here is the Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin's 1963 thesis paper from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that made him "Dr. Rendezvous":

Line-of-Sight Guidance Techniques for Manned Orbital Rendezvous



posted on Sep, 1 2014 @ 03:16 AM
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Great post Jim. S+F



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