Bill Bard (
7 Feb 1995 08:28:15 U

I've heard of people seeing that on previous launches. What it probably 
was is the thrusters on the shuttle firing to seperate it from the 
external tank. Once it was seperated, there could have been additional 
firings to stabilize the shuttle's attitude and provide additional 
seperation velocity.


During the Discovery launch, there was constant visibility of the exhaust 
at first.  After fading, Discovery flashed back into view several times.
Does anyone know the cause of these pulses?

After MECO, are the engines fired again for short bursts to refine the 
At 5:01 this morning, I just missed Mir, but did see Discovery in the NE 
at 20 deg elev.  A much better view was at 6:36am.  The sky was bright 
with only 1st mag stars visible, when Mir came by in the SW, 55 deg elev, 
about mag 1.

Followed in 1/2 minute by Discovery, mag -1 or -2. I would like to have 
seen them during rendezvous, but this was nice anyway.