Re: Will the Crew Dragon re-entry be visible in the USA?

From: C. Bassa via Seesat-l <>
Date: Mon, 4 Mar 2019 22:48:18 +0100
Hi Ron,

On Sun, Mar 3, 2019 at 7:25 PM ronlee--- via Seesat-l
<> wrote:
> If this is the correct orbit, where along the path would
> the spacecraft be undergoing the fiery potion of re-entry
> and this possibly visible from the ground?
> Are there sonic booms along the path?

It certainly is the correct orbit, as it is co-planar with the ISS
orbit at the appropriate time (13:45UTC/08:45EST).

I've not seen much information about the Dragon re-entry profile.
Information about the Soyuz re-entry profile can be found at, for
example The Soyuz
re-entry profile appears to be longer, about 49 minutes from the end
of the de-orbit burn until landing; possibly the 15 minute Dragon
de-orbit burn might explain some of these differences. The plot on shows that the communications blackout part, which
is where I would expect the space craft to leave the plasma trail
(fiery portion), is between 35 and 44 minutes after the de-orbit burn.
Looking at the location of ISS at that time, and estimating that the
Dragon will likely be leading the ISS, it suggests that the re-entry
may only be possible on the East coast. It may be worthwhile to run
some GMAT simulations using an atmosphere to see where the peak
deceleration for an approach like this would occur. It looks like
chances are good of seeing the re-entry.

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Received on Mon Mar 04 2019 - 15:49:10 UTC

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