Cosmos 895 R/B fly-by of Shuttle/ISS

Matson, Robert (
Fri, 11 Dec 1998 13:23:38 -0800

I've got another rocket-body encounter for the Shuttle/ISS, assuming that
it occurs prior to the next burn.  Cosmos 895 R/B is predicted to come
within 15 km of the Shuttle/ISS complex at 3:05:37 UT on 12 December.
This is a sunlit encounter, about 5 minutes after sunrise on board.

between Cygnus & Aquila at RA 20h 9m, Dec 25.5 deg.  The magnitude
will only be about 6.4 at this time.  By 3:03 the range is down to 1000 km,
and the brightness has increased to mag 5.7.  By 3:04 the range is down
to 620 km, visual magnitude 4.7, and the rocket body will be slowly
moving in the direction of Lyra.

At 3:05, the range is 235 km, magnitude 2.6.  Motion is definitely
noticeable now.  30 seconds later, the range has dropped by a factor
of 5 to about 45 km.  The satellite will be zipping past gamma- and
beta-Lyra at about magnitude -1.  Five seconds later it will fly past
Arcturus, far outshining it.  Peak visual magnitude is predicted to be
about -3.5.  It passes the moon and Mars next in a matter of seconds,
and starts to get dimmer (having past closest approach).

Of course, all bets are off if the Shuttle maneuvers prior to 12/12 3:05!