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From: Henry Spencer <>
Subject: Re: window?
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 1997 14:29:41 GMT

In article <>, Bill Baka <> wrote:
>...about the + or - 700 miles during descent, does that mean
>that the shuttle burns ALL of its remaining fuel during the descent burn? That
>seems like cutting it awfully close...

The orbiter carries very little fuel, and what it's got wouldn't affect
the landing point very much.  Once it reaches orbit, its maneuvering
capabilities are very limited.  (If the mission involves rendezvous, e.g.
with Mir, the initial orbit has to be just right.)  The only major choice
it has left is the timing of the descent burn.  Once that's done, the only
useful control on the landing point is aerodynamic maneuvering during
reentry; further burns of the little orbital-maneuvering engines would
have almost no effect.
Committees do harm merely by existing.             |       Henry Spencer
                           -- Freeman Dyson        |

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