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Nowhere can I find info on how high the Apollo and the S-IVB stage were after engine cutoff following the successful TLI. The S-IVB/Apollo was in a parking orbit usually about 110 mi (180 km) above the Earth for one to two orbits until it fired the S-IVB again for TLI. With engine cutoff, how high did it get? Or how high above the Earth did the docking with the LM occur?

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2 Answers 2

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This table from Apollo By The Numbers shows altitudes ranging from 169 to 199 nautical miles.

enter image description here

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    $\begingroup$ I think it's worth noting that the TLI burns weren't purely prograde. The "Flight Path Angle" row shows the nose was pointed around 7 degrees up from horizontal, which explains how a 347s burn with 10 kft/s of delta-v can gain 80 nm in altitude when starting from a circular parking orbit (using Apollo 11 numbers). $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 24, 2023 at 3:34
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A secondary, or perhaps backup question was asked about the altitude when the Command Module docked with the Lunar Module. In the same document referenced in the other answer you can find this information listed under each of the individual missions. Although they only seem to have the LM docking altitude for Apollo 11 through 15. The lowest altitude was Apollo 11 at 5,318 nautical miles (6,120 miles, 9,849 km). The highest altitude was Apollo 14 at 20,603 nautical miles (23,709 miles, 38,156 km).

Apollo11 and 14 translunar phase

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  • $\begingroup$ If I remember rightly, A14 had problems getting the docking hardware to latch, so the TDE procedure took an hour or two longer than usual to execute — they probably started trying at a similar altitude to the other missions. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 28, 2023 at 15:36

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