RE: OTV-3 launch

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Tue Dec 11 2012 - 19:17:55 UTC

  • Next message: Greg Roberts: "RE: OTV-3 launch"

    That's excellent, Greg. I was hoping you would be able to observe.
    I am hearing altitude reports that suggest it went at least 100 km higher than my search TLE. Of course, inclination
    could also have been different.
    Do you plan to try to observe the second pass? I am rushing to evaluate a possible higher orbit. Will try to complete in
    time for your second pass, in case you plan to look for it. That will be a fairly low pass, so the slant range will help
    with trajectory uncertainty.
    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: [mailto:seesat-l-
    >] On Behalf Of Greg Roberts
    > Sent: December-11-12 1:55 PM
    > To:
    > Subject: OTV-3 launch
    > Good evening.... what a FANTASTIC sight!!!!! Probably the most beautiful I have
    > ever seen as OTV3 passed over followed by a brighter object which was probably
    > the second stage, but what made it even more beautiful was the extremely bright
    > fan ahead of it-probably caused by hydrogen venting from the second stage. I got
    > numerous photographs as well as some video which I will be posting on my
    > FACEBOOK page probably tomorrow. When I first saw the object come into the field
    > of view I thought it was the landing lights of an aircraft- as I could hear one
    > buzzing around - so I let it pass through the field of view. I then waited a few
    > seconds and thought I had better set on the culmination position and sure enough
    > again had the plume followed by a satellite followed by a brighter one. I
    > followed the train until it passed behind some buildings at 9 degrees elevation
    > as the plume continued to get fainter and fainter.
    > What a fantastic sight and congrats to Ted - your predictions were SPOT ON!!!
    > Cheers - will now go and observe a few other much less exciting satellites!
    > Greg
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