ISS and a Pyro display!

From: Tom Wagner (
Date: Fri Jun 01 2001 - 21:57:30 PDT

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    I can see it now, Headlines---The International Space Station Appears to
    Explode in the skies over Waterloo, Iowa! --- or so it seemed to my son and
    I.  With the times and directions of the next crossing of the ISS in my
    pocket, we headed for our small downtown to watch the yearly "My Waterloo
    Days" fireworks extravaganza. Within a minute of first rise of the station I
    spotted the brightening dot of reflected sunlight moving ever higher in the
    sky.  As it passed just under the moon I exclaimed to several puzzled
    strangers to my right and left, "See that?  That's the International Space
    Station!"  Then the fireworks began.
    Moments later I was torn between watching the pyrotechnics or the
    station---a tough decision for me.  Before long however, I was enjoying
    both, simultaneously!  The station passed right through the line of fire.
    As we watched, as if with one mind, my boy and I  said, "No way that'll
    happen.", yet it did!  As a lone shell sparked its way upward and slowed, it
    perfectly aligned itself with the station and........BOOM!  It exploded in a
    sphere of colored sparks coming from what appeared to be the station itself.
    What a perfect setup! The best of both worlds came together for a guy that
    loves to see (and cause) explosions and feels a strange sense of comradery
    with a glowing spot of light hurtling through space some hundreds of miles
    What a treat.  Something to write on the kitchen calendar.
    P.S. As it turns out, one of the people that I excitedly approached knew me
    by name.  (!?!)  We were both in a the local astronomy club back in the late
    70's. We hadn't seen each other since.  Coincidentally I've been meaning to
    join the new astronomy club here in town, of which he is a member, and I
    consider this an omen to do just that.  :~)
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