Just a quick question. Does anyone here know the dynamics of the last stage of a docking rendezvous? From 'in convoy' ----------> 'physically attached'.
I'm curious because if you're initially behind the target and speed up, you increase altitude and pass on the outside, and if you're behind and slow down, you pass the target on the inside.
So I'm guessing relative approaches that are tangential or radial to your orbits are out? Relative approach happens at some angle? And this has to be calculated with extreme accuracy? I mean, you can't just get within 50m, say, and then wing it by sight?
Unless of course the freaky orbital dynamics I mentioned above aren't that important once you get as close as 50m? In other words you can close 50m quickly enough, and that the change in relative altitude is small enough to ignore/easily adjust for?
Hm. I hope all that made sense. Thanks in advance.
P.S. Any technical links would be highly appreciated. Especially if they have pictures.