Lecture Notes
Updated Wednesday, 21-Jan-2004 10:03:27 EST

Working in Space

Satellite in 300 km orbit, period = 90.51 min, speed = 7.726 km/sec

If satellite leads Shuttle by 15 degrees (around the circle), then how long does or how many orbits for Shuttle to catch it?

a = separation angle = 15 degrees in this problem

R1 = 360 deg/90.31 min = 3.986 deg/min (Shuttle rate)

R2 = 360 deg/90.51 min = 3.977 deg/min (satellite rate)

Rr = R1 - R2 = 3.986 deg/min - 3.977 deg/min = 0.009 deg/min (relative rate)

Time to rendezvous = a/Rr

= 15 deg /0.009 deg./min. = 1667 min. = approx. 18 orbits.

Copyright © 1998, Robert G. Melton

Updated Wednesday, 21-Jan-2004 10:03:27 EST