RE: record-breaking human achievement

From: Matson, Robert (
Date: Tue Aug 26 2003 - 17:16:01 EDT

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    Hi Walter and List,
    > It occurs to me that tomorrow, August 27th, some human may have a chance
    > to pass closer to Mars than anyone else in recorded history.  This could
    > be someone at or near the sub-Martian point or someone on ISS.
    > According to a very quick calculation based on a recent elset, this last
    > might occur at about 2003-08-27 1005 UT.  Or possibly some astronaut on
    > a previous mission, especially an Apollo mission.
    For ground-based humans, the location of choice would be the highest
    mountain you can find in the vicinity of 15.7 S, 143.25 W.  Tahiti is
    fairly close to this location, so Mt. Orohena at 2241 meters a.s.l. is
    the best you can do from Tahiti.  Smaller islands a couple hundred miles
    to the east of Tahiti (Tuamotu archipelago) will be a little closer.
    For atmospheric travelers, perhaps there is a trans-Pacific flight
    passing east of Tahiti around 9:50 UT on 8/27?
    Based on the latest elset, it looks like the best the ISS astronauts
    will be able to do will be at ~8:32am UT on 8/27 (slightly better than
    at 10:06am UT).  The 6 digits of precision in SkyMap for Mars' distance
    is insufficient to tell if the ISS pass at 8:32am will be closer or
    further than for south Pacific observers.
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