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Re:Re: volunteers needed

Christopher E Phelps asked:

>I know we can't afford to have it done, but is it technically and physically
>possible, that  the orbital path of 40 brings it in close enough to where
>the space shuttle could grab it like the HST, and real it in for repairs or
>a return to earth to be repaired? Just wondering.

Chris, see my comments and those of others from 8/29 related to AO-40's 


I won't go into the plane of reference issues, but they make interesting 
reading in the earlier posts.

In short, even if the shuttle could reach A0-40's perigee height of ~1155 
km in a circular orbit, it would be moving at about 7,277 meters/sec.

AO-40 is in a highly elliptical orbit.  At perigee it would be moving at 
9,744 meters/sec.  It would SCREAM (well, OK, there is no sound is space) 
past the shuttle at  9744-7277 = 2,467 meters/sec (there's a typo in my 
original post at this point).  That's a speed differential of 8,881 
km/hr  (~5,500 miles/hr).  Needless to say, any meaningful encounter would 
be impossible, and any miscalculation would be deadly.  It's actually more 
complex than that because AO-40's altitude relative to the earth would be 
continuously changing during this time as well.  Matching altitude at one 
part of the orbit is only a small part of the issue. The entire orbit has 
to be matched.

  Stacey E. Mills, W4SM    WWW:    http://www.cstone.net/~w4sm/ham1.html
   Charlottesville, VA     PGP key: http://www.cstone.net/~w4sm/key
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