STS 63 Viewing

Geoff Chester (
Wed, 1 Feb 95 13:32:28 EST

A note to all potential STS-63 trackers: These elemets are still preliminary.
The actual time of liftoff will be determinted during the last major hold
about 1h 30m before launch, and based on state vectors for MIR. If everything
goes according to plan, these elements will be "valid" from the time of the
OMS-2 burn (if needed) to rev 6, when the first trim burn to transfer to the
MIR orbit takes place.

Those of you in England looking for the shuttle should remember that the flight
profile of a launch places the shuttle at an altitude of some 67 nm at MECO...
it then follows an eccentric orbit out to about 180 nm half a rev from Florida,
where they initiate the OMS circularization burn. It will therefore probably
be lower and sooner than the current preliminary Keps would indicate.


To: NASEP007--SIVM     Mail Sat Observing


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Date: 1 Feb 1995 11:06:57 U
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Subject: STS 63 Viewing
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A just ran a plot of the initial ground track for the shuttle and it
looks like it will pass over England and then into sunlight as it crosses
the French coast about 10 min after launch (approx 5:55 UTC I think). The
shuttle and External tank should be visible.

It also looks like Mir should preceed the shuttle by 10 min or so,
although the exact time will depend on the latest elements. Great viewing
opportunity indeed!