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From: DAVID WILLIAMS (1:250/514)
To: All
Date: Wed, 19.03.08 17:20
here's one for ya...
-> hummm... so the theory is that the station's belly is toward the earth at ti

-> and then when it is on the opposite side of the earth, the top of the statio

-> is toward the earth? in between, one end or the other is toward the
-> earth??


-> FWIW: we've discussed your theory as well as the other one in which the
-> station's belly always points to the earth... in this scenario, the only way

-> that the shuttle would go from being "pushed" to being "pulled" would requi

-> at least one 180 pancake spin... then another when they undock, if i recall
-> correctly that they leave the station being "pushed" like they were when the

-> docked...

That may be because they want to land the shuttle back where it came
from, rather than in the southern hemisphere someplace, so they start
the return flight after an integer number of orbits, so the station is
travelling in the same direction as at the start.

Or maybe it has to do with lighting. Things are planned so the crew can
watch and photograph as much as possible.

I am pretty sure that the ISS does not rotate once every 90 minutes or
so, which would be required if it is to keep its belly toward the
earth. The thing is, what, something like 50 metres long, so the ends
would be going in circles with a radius of 25 metres. 90 minutes is
about 5000 seconds, so the centripetal acceleration due to the rotation
would be rw^2 or 25 * (2*pi/5000)^2 which my calculator says is about
4e-5 m/s^2, or 4e-6 "g". A few millionths of gravity doesn't sound like
much, but it's enough to wreck some experiments.

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