RE: Questions regarding Shuttle/ISS visibility after undocking

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Sun Jun 17 2007 - 23:53:14 EDT

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    joe rao asked:
    > After Atlantis and the ISS undock on Tuesday morning, both 
    > vehicles will be observable as separate entities on Tuesday 
    > and Wednesday nights.  Does anyone know:
    > 1) Which will be the "lead" object as they move across the sky, and
    Soon after un-docking, the shuttle will manoeuvre to a somewhat lower orbit;
    therefore, it will lead ISS.
    > 2) How far apart will they appear to be?
    > I've tried using the TLEs on NASA's Human Space Flight web 
    > page, as well as their Skywatch 2.0 applet, but have been 
    > getting conflicting solutions.  In addition, their sighting 
    > opportunities page (last updated today, June 17) has the 
    > exact same times and viewing angles for both!  
    I recommend waiting for NASA to post new predicted TLEs tomorrow, by which time,
    they should be reliable for the post-undocking period.
    Ted Molczan
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