[kstein@erols.com: [HearSat] DOD Rocket Launch]

Walter Nissen (dk058@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Fri, 7 Mar 1997 07:42:52 -0500 (EST)

    ================= Begin forwarded message =================

    From: kstein@erols.com (Keith Stein)
    To: amsat-dc@amsat.org, hearsat-l@grove.net, milcom@grove.net, SCAN-L@UAFSYSB.UARK.EDU
    Subject: [HearSat] DOD Rocket Launch
    Date: Sun, 23 Feb

    Hello all,
    Well I finally saw my first space launch in person, so what if it was only a
    little DOD sounding rocket from Wallops Island, VA, hehe, I've never been to
    a space launch EVER !!
    I went out for the Conestoga launch in 1995, SCRUBBED.
    Then I went out for a Pegasus launch in 1996, SCRUBBED.
    But this time, the low-cost Department of Defense (DOD) 3-stage launch
    vehicle was fired at 5:06 a.m. eastern time (1006 UTC) Sunday morning, Feb.
    23rd from NASA's Wallops Island, VA.
    The vehicle jumped off the launch pad and climbed into an outstanding clear
    sky with comet Hale-Bopp VERY visible just to the left of the rockets flight
    Frequencies Active;
        760 kHz AM  NASA Wallops Information Station
    121.950 MHz AM  NASA 432 (Fokker-27 aircraft, tail# N432NA) performing radar
                    surveillance of ships in the water off the coast.
    126.500 MHz AM  Wallops Tower
    156.600 MHz     NASA Launch Control and Coast Guard ships monitoring ship
                    movements off the island.
    156.800 MHz     Coast Guard repeating "notice to mariners" about the launch
                    and to keep clear of the area.
    164.700 MHz     Range Safety Officiers (callsigns SKYSCREEN 1, 2, and 3)
                    providing countdown and vehicle performance during launch. Best
                    one to monitor for all the details of the flight.
    170.400 MHz     Voice paging system.
    171.000 MHz     Security and fire units clearing the island of all personnal.
    171.150 MHz     Security Net
    425.000 MHz     Flight Termination System (FTS) carrier came up on this freq.
                    Range safety announced "FTS is armed, the rocket will
                    destruct on command if needed".
    Now here is the weird part about this launch. The first stage, second stage,
    and third stage all looked to perform 100%. But after the flight ended, a
    good size green cloud was visible directly over the island and seemed to
    burst into a ball with a bright center. Something like the barium
    (?spelling?) chemical release experiments NASA and other agencies have done
    in the past, weird ?? Or maybe just the three stage falling back into
    earth's atmosphere ??
    Some great stuff to monitor and SEE, but MAN was is cold out there, hehe !!
    Keith Stein
    Woodbridge, VA
    Community, Air & Space Report
    Satellite Times magazine
    NASA Information Center
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