Re: Discovery launch and elsets
Thu, 13 Jul 1995 20:19:14 -0400

>Perhaps the fact that the crew of Discovery is an all-Ohio crew (Gov.=20
>George Voinivich officially designated the one non-Ohio-native crewman as=
>an honorary Ohioan) and Ohio's traditional dominance of pioneering flight=
>(Wilbur Wright, Orville Wright, John Glenn and Neil Armstrong are all=20
>native Ohioans) have led to the happy circumstance of somewhat adequate=20
>broadcast coverage of the mission.=20

Actually that's one of the things which thoroughly disgusts me about this=
 mission.  Greg Harbaugh, who just came back from STS-71, is from Cleveland=
 Ohio.  The next mission, STS-69, also has an Ohio native (Mike Gernhardt. =
 Don't expect much interest from the Ohio press though - one astronaut isn't=
 critical mass to pique their interest.  It's pretty ironic that NASA Lewis=
 - in Cleveland - has absolutely nothing to do with this mission (Well,=
 CUSeeMe if you count Internet interest), but still gets the requests for=
 information from the Ohio press.  The STS-69 mission will have a Lewis=
 combustion experiment and the STS-73 mission will have several Lewis=
 experiments, but don't expect much media coverage on those in your area!

Here's a comparison.  The Ohio media acted *exactly* like the International=
 press who come in town to cover their particular 'native son' (or daughter)=
 flying aboard the shuttle.  Same newbie questions, same interest only in=
 their particular topic without any interest in anything else.  So I hope=
 somebody processed all of their passports and visas properly when they=
 visited the Kennedy Space Center. ;-)

>The roar of the engines triggered annoying car alarms in the vicinity of=20
>the Cleveland reporter's remote.=20

No big news - that happens every launch.  It's rather amusing to hear the=
 echos of car alarms off the Vehicle Assembly Building - even though it's=
 about half a mile from the press site.
>>From, Mission at a Glance followed by Status at=20
>a Glance will get you a calculation of the actual position of the=20
>shuttle and from the Shuttle State Vector these elsets:=20


>This advance information is apparently the best ever made available and=20
>somebody unknown to me at the Flight Dynamics Office at Johnson deserves=20
>our fervent thanks.=20

Actually the thanks should go to Gil Carman, WA5NOM, a member of the SAREX=
 team in Houston.  Gil's professional job is to track the shuttle and he=
 goes the extra step to ensure that the info gets out to the amateur radio=
 and satellite tracking community.

BTW - it should be obvious, but just in case it isn't, a 55 second delay=
 does not cause a significant difference in satellite predictions.  If you=
 can't get actual element sets during the mission just use the pre-launch=
 predictions and you won't be off by much.  (well, 55 seconds maybe, and 55=
 seconds / 1 day of sun angle ..)
>Regrettably, prospects for viewing from as far north as 41 degrees seem=20
>poor at best.

Those of us at 28.5 degrees North (and about 80 degrees west if you're=
 interested) don't have those pesky problems. ;)

And for those interested, here's Gil's latest elements based on the=
 shuttle's actual state vector (subject to change, your mileage may vary):

1 23612U 95035A   95194.87210206  .00073094  00000-0  23108-3 0    47
2 23612  28.4620 324.7442 0024281 195.1654 164.8261 15.85289896    67

Satellite: STS-70
Catalog number: 23612
Epoch time:      95194.87210206   =3D    (13-Jul-95   20:55:49.61 UTC)
Element set:     004
Inclination:       28.4620 deg
RA of node:       324.7442 deg            Space Shuttle Flight STS-70
Eccentricity:     .0024281               Keplerian element set JSC-004
Arg of perigee:   195.1654 deg           from NASA flight Day  1 vector
Mean anomaly:     164.8261 deg
Mean motion:   15.85289896 rev/day                Gil Carman
Decay rate:     7.3094e-04 rev/day^2       NASA Johnson Space Center
Epoch rev:               6
Checksum:              301

Should be good through 1 day 5 hours MET (about Friday 2:45 pm ish EDT) when=
 the next OMS burn takes place to circularize the orbit.

Philip Chien, Earth News - space writer and consultant  PCHIEN@IDS.NET
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 Roger, go at throttle up         CHR$(32) the final frontier