STS sonic boom

Robert Reeves (
Fri, 21 Feb 1997 07:07:09 -0600

Due to other commitments, I was unable to get revision B of the Shuttle
entry visibility list so I observed this morning's STS reentry with times
given from the revision A list.  Of course, STS came later than shown on
revision A so I missed it.  Damn!  Clear as crystal here right under the
path.  I gave up 5 minutes after the pass predicted on revision A, figuring
they waved off for 24 hours.  I calculate it actually appeared about 30
seconds after I went back inside.

But all was not lost.  Just as I laid back down to go to sleep, I head the
sonic boom, even from inside my bedroom.  Just hearing that sucker was, in a
small way, worth getting up for.  It was LOUD.  STS passed about 70 degrees
above the south at my location, and my bedroom window faces south.  There is
a huge wooden deck outside my bedroom window a considerable overhang on the
roof.  I think these created a trap to kind of magnify the sound in my
bedroom because the I heard both the boom and my window pane go "snap" as it

I can't emphasize how loud the boom was compared to what I expected.  To the
south of my home is Ft. Sam Houston, an Army post which fires a ceremonial
8-inch Howitzer every morning at 6 AM.  The STS boom was louder.  To the
north, there used to be a rock quarry which routinely blasted with dynamite
(before the land was commecialized and turned into a golf course two years
ago) and the STS boom was louder than the blasting, as heard from my home.

So I missed the fireworks, but cought the bang anyway.  Maybe next time...

Robert Reeves                Home page
520 Rittiman Rd.             Email
San Antonio, Texas  78209    Phone     210-828-9036
                             Location 29.4N  98.5W  200 meters