Orbital Rendezvous

Sun, 9 Feb 1997 13:28:10 -0500 (EST)

Subject: Orbital Rendezvous: How do they do it?

For the upcoming shuttle launch (STS-82) and Hubble Space Telescope (HST)
rendezvous, I downloaded the following orbital elements (see end of message)
from NASA's web site. What I don't understand is how the shuttle's "RA of
node" is adjusted during the launch to match the orbit of the HST. 

For example, if I assume that the moment of launch defines the shuttle's
orbital plane, I calculate that

LMST = 9:24:23 GMST + 8:55:19 * 1.002737 - 80d 36' 14.88" pad 39A
     = 194.687 degree

RA of node = 194.687d - 90d = 104.687 degree

Thus, the "RA of node" is somehow adjusted by 16.2 degrees during the launch
and OMS-2. Can someone provide a description of how this is done? How is the
RA of node changed without affecting the inclination of the orbit?
Additionally, can you recommend a good source (i.e., somewhat easy to
understand) where I can learn more about this type of rendezvous mechanics?


John Holtz (JWHoltz@aol.com)