Spaceflight Now STS-108

STS-108 Launch Windows
Updated: November 30, 2001

General Notes:
The shuttle launch period, i.e.,the time in which a shuttle can take off and still reach the international space station, is roughly 10 minutes long. But NASA managers recently decided to target all ISS flights for takeoff the moment Earth's rotation carries the launch pad into the plane of the station's orbit. This "in plane" time marks the opening of the actual launch window.

Launching directly into the station's orbital plane minimizes the amount of propellant required and improves the odds of reaching the target even with a main engine performance shortfall. The downside is a shortened launch window. Space station launch windows can be as short as two-and-a-half minutes or as long as five minutes. The duration of the STS-108 launch window on any given day will not be determined until after the shuttle is fueled for flight. The chart below lists the end of the theoretical 10-minute window and which flight day the shuttle will dock with the space station.

Date Window Open Launch Window Close ISS Dock
Dec. 4 05:40:08 p.m. 05:45:07 p.m. 05:50:07 p.m. FD-3
Dec. 5 05:14:28 p.m. 05:19:26 p.m. 05:24:26 p.m. FD-3
05:17:35 p.m. 05:22:34 p.m. 05:27:34 p.m. FD-4
Dec. 6 04:51:53 p.m. 04:56:52 p.m. 05:01:52 p.m. FD-3
Dec. 7 04:26:13 p.m. 04:31:12 p.m. 04:36:12 p.m. FD-3
04:29:30 p.m. 04:34:19 p.m. 04:39:19 p.m. FD-4
Dec. 8 04:03:39 p.m. 04:08:38 p.m. 04:13:38 p.m. FD-3
04:06:47 p.m. 04:11:46 p.m. 04:16:46 p.m. FD-4
Dec. 9 03:41:05 p.m. 03:46:04 p.m. 03:51:04 p.m. FD-3
Dec. 10 03:15:24 p.m. 03:21:23 p.m. 03:25:23 p.m. FD-3
03:18:32 p.m. 03:23:31 p.m. 03:28:31 p.m. FD-4
Dec. 11 02:52:50 p.m. 02:57:49 p.m. 03:02:49 p.m. FD-3
02:55:59 p.m. 03:00:59 p.m. 03:05:59 p.m. FD-4
Dec. 12 02:27:10 p.m. 02:32:09 p.m. 02:37:09 p.m. FD-3
02:30:17 p.m. 02:35:16 p.m. 02:40:16 p.m. FD-4
Dec. 13 02:04:36 p.m. 02:09:34 p.m. 02:14:34 p.m. FD-3
02:07:44 p.m. 02:12:43 p.m. 02:17:43 p.m. FD-4