re: STS-74, anticipated appearance

Walter Nissen (dk058@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Mon, 13 Nov 1995 07:46:30 -0500

When I wrote: 
> Also, previous experience and energy requirements suggest that the shuttle 
> orbiter will chase Mir from a lower and faster orbit.  Thus, prior to the 
> docking, Atlantis will appear behind Mir.  After undocking, it will again 
> return to a lower and faster orbit, thus appearing ahead of Mir. 
I summarized the entire STS-74 mission.  A comment from Neil Clifford 
suggests that a bit of detail be filled in.  My source is the now obsolete 
flight plan available from http://shuttle.nasa.gov.  About 2 hours prior 
to docking, now apparently scheduled for 951115 0628 UT, Atlantis will 
arrive at a point a few hundred meters below Mir and will make an r-bar 
approach, i.e., along the radius vector to the Earth.  Atlantis will leave 
the vicinity of Mir about 2 hours after undocking, and meanwhile will make 
two fly-arounds of Mir.  These maneuvers might be visible from limited 
areas on the Earth's surface. 
 
I picked up these TLEs: 
STS-74    Predicted Atlantis         Post NC-1 valid until 951114 0000 UT 
1 99974U          95316.70687524  .00083907  00000-0  10188-3 0  9045 
2 99974  51.6473 134.0929 0026004 353.0894   6.9912 15.83901435    48 
STS-74    Mir (note cat#)                      valid until 951116 0000 UT 
1 16609U 86017A   95315.33685943  .00005096  00000-0  72085-4 0  9051 
2 16609  51.6442 140.6949 0003055 316.9830  43.1086 15.57967912555898 
but, frankly, I would tend to prefer the Mir elset in my previous message 
for many purposes. The NC-2 burn is now apparently scheduled for 
951113 1609 UT. 
 
Cheers. 
 
Walter Nissen            216-243-4980            dk058@cleveland.freenet.edu 
 
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