STS 117: estimated MECO elements

From: Ted Molczan (sslmolcz@rogers.com)
Date: Thu Jun 07 2007 - 13:33:44 EDT

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    Lift-off is scheduled for 2007 Jun 08 at 23:38:02 UTC.
    
    Spaceflight Now reports that, "forecasters now predict an 80 percent chance of
    good weather at launch time":
    
    http://www.spaceflightnow.com/shuttle/sts117/status.html
    
    NASA's estimated elements are available at the following URL. They take into
    account all planned manoeuvres, and are revised  throughout the mission, as
    required.
    
    http://spaceflight1.nasa.gov/realdata/sightings/SSapplications/Post/JavaSSOP/orbit/SHUTTLE/SVPOST.html
    
    As usual, NASA's MECO (main engine cut-off) 2-line elset is unreliable for
    predicting visibility on the first pass over Europe, because it predicts nearly
    double the correct altitude:
    
    1 99117U          07160.04256747  .00014500  00000-0  95600-4 0  9002
    2 99117  51.6339 146.4529 0057288 349.0165  10.9798 16.70528064    20
    
    so I have generated the following by converting NASA's True of Day Rotating
    (TDR) [aka Earth-Fixed Greenwich (EFG)] Cartesian state vector to SGP4, using
    Ken Ernandes' VEC2TLE program, and added realistic decay terms for the brief
    duration of existence of the orbit, from Jun 08, 23:48:30 UTC (MECO) to Jun 09,
    00:16:58 UTC:
    
    MECO
    1 99999U          07159.99201389  .01000000  40444-5  44382-6 0    00
    2 99999  51.6339 146.7465 0132784 348.8013  68.9735 16.48549729    02
    
    According to these elements, from the vantage point of the U.K., the shuttle
    will enter eclipse just as it rises above the horizon.
    
    Our web site has a link to Ken's program:
    
    http://www.satobs.org/orbsoft.html#Other
    
    Ted Molczan
    
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