RSC Energia developed a one-orbit rendezvous profile
by Staff Writers
Moscow, Russia (SPX) May 02, 2019
RSC Energia mission specialists have developed a one-orbit flight profile for a rendezvous with the International Space Station within about 2 hours.
The main advantage of such a profile is the reduction of the time spent by cosmonauts in a small volume of a spacecraft. One more advantage of this one-orbit rendezvous profile is a quick delivery of various biomaterials to the Station to conduct scientific experiments onboard the ISS. In addition, the quicker is the spacecraft rendezvous with the station, the more is the saving of propellant and other resources required to support the flight.
The implementation of a one-orbit rendezvous profile will require to adhere to a number of stringent ballistic conditions for relative position of the spacecraft and the Station. However, a special procedure developed by the Energia specialists will allow to use it even more often than a four-orbit rendezvous strategy which has already become familiar.
The higher is the latitude of the launch site from which a launch is performed, the more efficient is the use of this procedure. In such a manner, for example, launches using this one-orbit rendezvous profile from the Vostochny Cosmodrome can be carried out without preliminary orbit corrections of the ISS and ideally - even on a daily basis.
"We already use a two-orbit rendezvous profile which was successfully tested during two flights of cargo vehicles in July 2018 and this April. In the future we plan to use it for manned launches as well. A two-orbit rendezvous profile gives a capability to deliver crews and cargo to the ISS within the record short time.
"But launches using a one-orbit rendezvous profile will allow us to achieve an absolute record. And we have all conditions to ensure the pre-eminence of Russia in this direction, - Rafail Farvazovich Murtazin, Deputy Head of the Design-Theoretical Support Center said.
The development test of a one-orbit rendezvous profile may be necessary to implement in the future two-launch flight profiles to the Moon, proposing the docking procedure in near-earth orbit with the upper stage using low-boiling propellant components.
The service life of such an upper stage after launch is small, that is why a quick rendezvous and docking with it - is an extremely important task. One more field of application with regard to quick rendezvous profiles of spacecraft with the Station are rescue operations in space where the time factor can become critical.
In the opinion of RSC Energia ballisticians, it is possible to implement a one-orbit rendezvous profile already in 2-3 years.
Source: RIA Novosti
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