Soviet Soyuz ИНК Navigation Display, Part 3—Landing Prediction Function

One of the key functions of the Soyuz “Globus” electromechanical navigation computer examined in Part 1 and repaired in Part 2 was its ability to predict, at any moment during flight, (approximately) where the spacecraft would land if retrofire were performed immediately. Accomplishing this was only possible because Soyuz missions flew in circular orbits at a fixed inclination to the equator. This allowed electronic computers on the ground to calculate the angle of the orbital arc from retrofire to landing, which cosmonauts entered from a front panel control. Then, another switch triggered rotation of the globe along the orbital track by that angle, showing the landing point.

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