Re: Launch inclinations - wa

Philip Chien (
Tue, 9 Apr 1996 19:19:54 -0400

>Philip Chien said:
>>The only Titan dog-leg I know of from the Cape was the NOSS cluster
>>launched on June 8, 1990.


Bill Bard replied:

>I'm not sure I would call that a dog-leg. My definition of a dog-leg is a
>major plane change (> 0.5 deg?) occuring during initial powered flight.
>It sounds like it could have occurred after initial orbit was obtained
>and perhaps accomplished by the payload. If that is a dog-leg, then all
>geosats do dog-legs.

In the case of the Titan in question there were two plane changes - one
during the launch and one by the upper stage after it achieved orbit.  (and
thanks to Ted Molczan for correcting my off-the-cuff memories of that

For me a dog-leg during launch implies something which occurs in the
atmosphere during powered flight (e.g. that Titan).  Most polar launched
Deltas from California, like the upcoming MSX launch have to do doglegs to
avoid travelling over land.  They actually are launched to the West, and
after a period make a left turn to the South to avoid flying over South
Vandenberg.  Now THAT's a dog leg!

I have seen the term 'dog leg' used to refer to a geosynchronous transfer
orbit - even without a plane change.  The shape of the ground track does
look a bit like a dog leg -- if you stare at it long enough.

Philip Chien, Earth News - space writer and consultant  PCHIEN@IDS.NET
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