Help with Guestimate Mir

From: CmdrJaycee@aol.com
Date: Fri Jan 26 2001 - 08:28:27 PST

  • Next message: Marek Kozubal: "Re: Viewing dark objects against a bright background"

    Greetings SeeSat -
    
    We had scheduled a public satellite observing session with my county park 
    system for the evening of Mar 1.  Unfortunately, we have to submit program 
    dates months in advance and the choice of Mar 1 was really just a dart throw. 
     However, with Mir coming down sometime soon after, it would be really nice 
    if I could twist some arms and reschedule for an evening when we can spot 
    Mir.  Feb 23rd looks interesting because, not only does Mir makes its highest 
    evening pass near the original program date (according to the 
    Heaven-above.com predictions I just ran (albeit not a great one), the ISS is 
    predicted to make an even nicer one about a half hour earlier.
    
    The dilemma is, obviously, a lot will change between now and then.  First, 
    assuming STS-98 launches on time, the ISS will probably be boosted during the 
    mission.  But Mir, conversely, is decaying slowly on its own.  Even more, 
    with Progress having been launched carrying the propellant needed to bring 
    Mir down sometime in the early to mid March time frame, I don't know if the 
    plans are to adjust Mir's orbit incrementally, or whether the deorbit burns 
    will be performed only as the target date for reentry approaches.  Assuming 
    it's the latter, does anyone want to hazard a guess how much the current Mir 
    predictions for the DC area for Feb. 23rd will be off?
    
    My hope is any reboost of the ISS, along with Mir's natural orbit decay, will 
    bring their passes closer together time wise.  Is this a good guess?  I fear 
    I'm still throwing darts, but any help pointing me in the right direction 
    would be very much appreciated.
    
    Jim Cook
    Germantown, MD
    39.2N, 77.3W
    
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