Pegasus 3rd stages and spotting the Celestis payloads

Philip Chien (
Thu, 24 Apr 1997 23:41:52 -0400

I've been informed that my memory's once again faulty.

It was the Step 2 Pegasus 3rd stage (1994 29B through whatever) which
exploded in to a cajillion fragements.  There was no problem with the REX
II launch.

I had also said:

>>But I wouldn't count on seeing the upper stage unless you're really, really
>>good.  The third stage is relatively small - about 1.34 meters long and 96
>>cm in diameter.

to which Tristan Cools replied:

>Don't think so.  I have seen the Pegasus third stages 93-26B(22639) and
>94-29B(23106-before explosion) with simple 7X50 binoculars.  They were both
>mag 7-8 at +-800km which is higher than the recent Pegasus launch.
>Pegasus third stages are comparable in brightness with some Scout upper
>stages(which aren't launched anymore)

Like I said - unless you're really, really good.  The casual person who
just goes outside to view Mir with the naked eye isn't going to be able to
spot this relatively small object.  But best of luck to whoever does try!

Philip Chien [M1959.05.31/31.145//]