TSS tether passes

Rob Matson (Rob_Matson@cpqm.saic.com)
28 Feb 1996 15:45:20 U

                      Subject:                              Time:  15:20
  OFFICE MEMO         TSS tether passes                     Date:  96/02/28

For those in southern California, here are visibility predictions for TSS and
its tether based on the latest orbital elements:

The first sunlit, nighttime pass that will exceed 10 degree elevation angle
from L.A./Orange Counties occurs next Wednesday morning, 3/6/96 starting at
5:34:40am PST, when TSS first exceeds 10 deg in the SSW.  It'll be due south
at 5:35:45, roughly 15 degrees ATH.  Peak elevation is 16-deg above the SSE at
5:36:30, when the range will be roughly 1080 km.  If the tether were fully
extended and aligned perpendicular to one's line of site, it would subtend
1-deg at this time -- twice the diameter of the moon!  TSS is back down to
10-deg elevation in the SE at 5:38:20.  The pass will be 2 to 3 degrees higher
in elevation in San Diego.

There is a higher pass on the morning of 3/7, but it occurs too close to
sunrise.  The next good opportunity will be early morning Friday, 3/8 at
4:40:50am (time of peak elevation--16 deg, and minimum range--1020 km).  A
better pass occurs Saturday morning, 3/9 at 4:59:20am, with a 23-deg peak
elevation, 790-km minimum range, and subtending potentially as much as 1.4

Of course, due to the unpredicable drag on TSS, these times may change by
several minutes between now and next week.  If anyone's interested, I'll post
updated predictions as we get closer to the first pass.