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Relative Motion in the Docking Phase of Orbital Rendezvous

Report Number: AMRL TDR 62-124
Author: Mueller, Donald D.
Corporate Author: Behavioral Sciences Laboratory
Laboratory: Behavioral Sciences Laboratory
Date of Publication: 1962-12
Pages: 34
Contract: Laboratory Research - No Contract
Project: 7184
Task: 718405
AD Number: AD0402384

The purpose of this report is to analyze the relative motion which exists between an interceptor and target vehicle in the final stages of orbital rendezvous. Four distinct types of nearby parking orbits were defined. It was assumed that a mn `?%&.ar1ng an extra- vehicular suit and a self-maneuvering unit would exit the interceptor and traverse the remaining distance to the target. Both two-impulse transfers and continuous-thrust line-of-sight transfers were analyzed. It was found that the direction in which the man should aim himself to make a two-impulse transfer depends only on the time he wishes to consume in the rendezvo%js and does not depend on the d%stance to be traveled. Compari- sons of fuel consumption for the two-impulse technique and tije line-of-sight technique were made and an optimum transfer combining both these techniques was suggested. The results of this study indicate that Coriolis forces and tidal effects cannot be neglected even at the relatively short ranges associated with orbital docking.

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