originally posted by: LardoCalorissian
I read that the capsule will dock with ISS on Wednesday, so it's on its own for three days. Is this time period always the same?
It is also designed to transport people to the ISS. Would they also be cooped up in that thing for three days?
It is not uncommon for a spacecraft to take one, two, or even three days to get to the Space Station. That was the case for manned spacecraft such
the Space Shuttle and the Russian Soyuz spacecraft (currently used to transport the crew), as well as unmanned supply craft.
The reason is that spacecraft don't go zipping around in orbit like we see on TV and in movies, mainly because they do not have enough fuel to do so.
Instead, when a spacecraft such as these supply craft or the Russian manned Soyuz -- or even when manned space shuttles were launched in the past --
they have enough fuel upon launch to put them in an coasting orbit that (with a few relatively smaller engine burn maneuvers once in orbit)
would make them end up in an orbit that eventually intersects with and generally matches the coasting orbit of the ISS.
That slow and eventual intersecting/matching of orbits takes a couple of days.
A Russian Soyuz rocket launched an American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts into orbit this morning, beginning a [col0r=Brown]two-day
journey to the International Space Station..
To go directly there on launch would mean that they were moving at a much faster pace than the ISS to be able to directly intersect with them ISS and
thus would require more fuel to slow down once they get there. Instead, they just get closer and closer on each successive orbit until they a
generally matching the ISS orbit.
The video below is better and more detailed explanation:
If you want to skip ahead to the 5:11 mark to hear about the orbital maneuvers to get to the ISS, click this link:
So they will be cooped up in that thing for three days?
If it takes one, two, or sometimes three days for a manned Soyuz or manned SpaceX Dragon to get to the ISS, then yes -- they would be cooped up in
their craft for one, two, or even three days. The Space Shuttle often took two or three days to match orbits with the ISS, but the Space Shuttle had
a bit more elbow room.
This content community relies on user-generated content from our member contributors. The opinions of our members are not those of site ownership who maintains strict editorial agnosticism and simply provides a collaborative venue for free expression.