Re: space shuttle launch times

From: Richard Clark (rclark@LPL.Arizona.EDU)
Date: Tue Mar 19 2002 - 12:05:52 EST

  • Next message: Paul J Henney: "Re: [FPSPACE] space shuttle launch times"

    I saw an early sign of this several weeks ago.
    
    Several months ago I submitted an 'opportunity for improvement' to the
    KSC website requesting information about ascent profiles and viewing
    opportunities for ISS missions similar to what is posted for the landings.
    (a generic launch profile (from sts88?) is floating around and is
    periodically reposted on this group.) I got a response asking for
    clarification of what I wanted. I explained, even making a point to
    connect it with educational opportunities and stimulating young minds
    yadayadayada.
    
    Time passed. There was a terrorist attack on the US east coast.
    
    A few weeks ago I finally got a response stating that this information
    would not be provided due to security concerns.
    
    I realized the uselessness of trying to continue the discussion. The PAO
    was not responsible and could not do anything in any case. I did not
    contrast the differing policies for landing and launch viewing. In both
    cases the Shuttle is vulnerable to the lightweight, portable weapons
    such as those the US itself has sold to its 'enemies' only when within
    ~20 km of the launch/landing site.
    
    Hopefully this will blow over fairly soon.
    
    While living in Tucson I've seen several Shuttle entries including the
    recent STS109. Tucson (at 32.25 N) is in a marginal location for this
    view of 28.5 degree missions, the visibility being highly dependent on
    the direction of the first roll maneuver. This one had the as high an
    elevation as I can remember, between 15 - 20 deg. My time here was
    interupted by 4 years in Maryland near DC. While there, I was never
    able to view a high inclination launch, though others in the area
    have successfully observed and reported on this list.
    
    In the meantime...
    ISS is just about the only place the Shuttle launches to anymore. They
    launch when the launch site passes through the station's orbital plane.
    But keep it quiet.
    
    Richard Clark
    rclark@lpl.arizona.edu
    
    On Tue, 19 Mar 2002, a thread got started:
    > >
    > >>Hello,
    > >>
    > >>I just heard on television that launch times for Space Shuttles will not
    > >>be announced anymore untill 24 hours before launch.
    > >>
    > >>Is this true ?
    > >>
    > 
    > http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/space/03/18/ret.shuttle.security.ap/index.html
    
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