1960-01-01

CONSIDERATIONS OF THE RENDEZVOUS PROBLEMS FOR SPACE VEHICLES 600268

The problems involved in making a soft rendezvous in space are considered, as in the transfer of personnel or supplies from a ferry vehicle to a space station. The various phases of a complete rendezvous mission, such as the injection, approach, terminal, and acquisition phases, are brought out. Special attention is given to the penalties that arise due to errors in such quantities as velocity, altitude, orbital inclination, etc., and on schemes for correcting flight paths so as to use a minimum of fuel. Attention is also focused on the wait time that is involved before a rendezvous launch can be made. Wait periods of many days appear necessary if launch is to be made into the correct orbital plane, with a subsequent lead or lag correction, but wait periods of only about a day or two are feasible if launch is made into an incorrect orbital plane with a subsequent plane correction.

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