RE: shoot down questions

From: Floyd Weaver (
Date: Sun Feb 17 2008 - 04:50:31 UTC

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    I tried to send this last night but it appears to not have went through so I
    will try it again. I did get to see ISS/STS on sat eve but not USA 193.
    Here is what I tried to send...
    I have been thinking about this shoot down and trying to figure some things
    out as to my chances of seeing something reenter over Lebanon PA USA. I have
    not seen the sat yet but hope to see it in a day or two as the evening
    visibility windows is just opening for us. I have been putting my somewhat
    limited knowledge of orbital mechanics and kinetic energy to use. I still
    have questions and maybe need my thinking straightened out.
    After an interceptor hit any pieces that were not vaporized, will reenter
    within a half orbit or so if there speed was reduced enough to drop the
    orbit perigee into the atmosphere. I guess the amount that reenters within a
    half an orbit depends on how the intercept goes. Hit a solar panel or radio
    antenna, and I suspect most of the sat will NOT reenter within half an
    orbit. But even a perfect hit would be virtually impossible to cause
    everything to reenter within half an orbit. Seems to me the best place to be
    would be about half an orbit ahead of the sat when intercept occurs. But
    there will be a lot more reentries at other locations.
    To see these piece reenter is it a good idea to be out all the time the
    orbital plain is above the horizon or maybe above 10 or 20 degrees? I am
    sure most of the pieces will not be catalogued so there will not be
    predictions, you just have to be out looking when they reenter. And things
    will rapidly get spread out in the orbital plain so much so that you could
    not just look within a few minutes of when the sat would have been there.
    How quickly will the debris spread out to the side of the orbital plain thus
    widening the plain? This would increase the time someone would have to be
    out. And would it be worth looking during the daytime? I suppose for the
    bigger piece, they should be visible. The last pieces to reenter should be
    the larger pieces and maybe they will be catalogued.
    If anyone can give more tips on when to look for debris reentry I would
    appreciate it or straighten me out if I am incorrect in my thinking.
    I love to see reentries (course lots of these will be little pieces and not
    put on a show like a complete sat or rocket body) and am ready to spend some
    time out watching.
    Floyd Weaver
    -----Original Message-----
    From: lherrmida []
    Sent: Friday, February 15, 2008 07:48
    Subject: Re: shoot down questions
    Reading and watching the news I understand that shooting the USA193 is a
    final decision. Then I wonder where would most part of debris hit or almost
    hit the earth. Does anyone have an answer for this question?
    Another question, just in case the satellite won't be shot, approximately
    over where will it re-enter?
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