Phases and Methods
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The standard technique for rendezvous and docking is to dock an active vehicle with a passive target. This technique has been used successfully for the Gemini, Apollo, Apollo/Soyuz, Salyut, Skylab, Mir, ISS, and Tiāngōng programs.
For this to be possible, both spacecraft must be in the same orbital plane, and the phase of the orbit must be matched. This can be achieved by one spacecraft being in a higher orbit than the other, and the lower orbit will gain on the higher orbit over time.
The active vehicle is then put on an intercept course with the target. The closure rate is then reduced by use of the active vehicle's reaction control system. Docking typically occurs at a rate of 0.1 ft/s (0.030 m/s) to 0.2 ft/s (0.061 m/s).
Read more about this topic: Space Rendezvous
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