Re: Mir/Shuttle Sighting

Bill Bard (
6 Jul 1995 07:38:39 -0400

I noticed one the post seperation elements came out, that the leading 
bright object was indeed Atlantis, not Mir.

Part of the reason for thinking the leading object was Mir was at one 
point, NASA graphics on the Map showed Mir in the lead. Also, I was 
thinking that Mir's orbit was so low, they opted for having the shuttle 
going into a higher orbit.

Date: 7/5/95 9:02 PM
To: Bill Bard
Bill Bard said:

>Had a great view of the Mir and STS 71 last night. 


>The leading
>object (which I think was Mir) was about 10 deg ahead of the shuttle.

As a general rule when you perform an undocking, and you're on your way =
home you want to go to a lower orbit.  Typically you'll only need one burn =
to reduce the apogee.  With an egg-shaped orbit there is no chance for =
recontact, although it's pretty unusual to see the relative distance =
between the vehicles decrease at times due to the shape of the orbit, =
leading some folks to believe that the vehicles are trying to redock!

An object in a lower orbit will move 'faster' (relative to the ground) =
than a satellite in a higher orbit.  So the leading object is Atlantis - =
not Mir.

Philip Chien, Earth News - space writer and consultant  PCHIEN@IDS.NET
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