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Re: Why The Drift?

>From: "James Alderman, KF5WT" <res06u61@gte.net>
>Reply-To: "James Alderman, KF5WT" <kf5wt@verizon.net>
>To: <sarex@AMSAT.Org>
>Subject: [sarex] Why The Drift?
>Date: Sat, 24 Feb 2001 00:33:27 -0600
>Perhaps some knowledgeable person could educate me on something.  When 
>the>down to the minute.
>Do I just have gremlins in my computer, or is there something to my theory?
>Your comments and physics lessons would be appreciated.
>73, James Alderman, KF5WT
>Dallas, Texas, USA

Howdy James.

Just as Mir is falling because of autmospheric drag so does the station 
(even more so with the new solar arrays) and if this were not countered the 
station would like Mir simply reenter.

While the shuttle was "docked" to the station complex it did several orbit 
"raising" manuevers for the station and that changed the orbit of the 
station by the amount you noted.  There are currently three "vehicles" that 
can raise the orbit of the station complex...the shuttle, the Russian 
progress space delivery system and the Service Module attached to the 
station itself. The order of preference to do the orbit raising is currently 
the shuttle, then Progress, then the Service module.

The shuttle is not very efficient in doing this because of the off axis 
thrust that it has based on where it is docked...but right now the Progress 
resupply vehicles are in short supply AND they are trying to preserve teh 
Russian service module fuel to allow the Russians to "contribute" less.  So 
they actually changed some of the shuttle post dock manuevers to allow it 
the fuel to give several orbit raising manuevers.

Shuttles will likely do this on every "visit".

Yours is a good question.  The only bad question is the one unasked.

Robert Oler WB5MZO
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