Does anyone know what the plane change would have been between Columbia and the ISS (ballpark, I know it moved during the mission)? I could figure out the RAAN of Columbia from launch time, but I don’t know what it was for the ISS at the time.
[Sunday evening update]
Here’s what I added as a footnote to the chapter, as a result of discussion here:
The difference in orbital planes at the time was about ninety degrees. A sixty-degree plane change requires as much velocity as it takes to get into orbit (ignoring atmospheric drag and gravity losses), and ninety would take about forty percent more than that (or about as much as it would take to escape from earth’s orbit from the earth’s surface, again, ignoring those factors), so even if there had been a full external tank attached to the Columbia in orbit and the main engines could have been restarted, it still wouldn’t have had nearly enough propellant to get to the ISS.