Crew Dragon re-entry alert for Seattle Washingtonarea and southeast USA

From: ronlee--- via Seesat-l <seesat-l_at_satobs.org>
Date: Wed, 6 Mar 2019 09:14:24 -0700
My initial guess as to where the capsule will be in the fiery (plasma)
portion of re-entry (and overhead) is a line from a little southeast of
Columbia SC, near Spartanburg SC, up to Waynesville NC. Since I have seen
a shuttle re-entry about twice this distance, I will extend the range to a
short distance north of Knoxville TN, past Monticello KY towards
Elizabethtown KY.

If you run a pass for the ISS to include daylight passes, find the one
around 830 AM EST (or 730 AM CST). If the elevation of the pass is high
(70 degrees or so), you can use the predictions with reasonable validity
for azimuth and elevation.

Since the spacecraft will be much lower that the ISS, as you get away from
this line and the highest elevation of the pass gets lower (roughly 50
degrees and lower), you will have to look below that path in an attempt to
see it if it is visible during daylight. I am guessing that by this point
it will be five minutes or so behind the ISS passage.

If there is a sonic boom, that may occur closer to the South Carolina coast.

There will also be a portion of the Crew Dragon assembly called the trunk
that should be jettisoned after the re-entry burn. Looking at the Soyuz
entry, the trunk may fall behind the Crew Dragon capsule once they enter
the Earth's atmosphere.

People in the northwest might be able to see the ISS, Crew Dragon and
trunk in visually semi-close position. I would plan on using binoculars
for the capsule and trunk. You may have to scan a little lower than the
path of the ISS and before and after it.

Any observations and positive or negative reports will aid in future
re-entries.


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Received on Wed Mar 06 2019 - 10:15:19 UTC

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