RE: Launch time for Titan-4/NUS Launch from VAFB

Ted Molczan (molczan@fox.nstn.ca)
Sun, 12 May 1996 08:49:15 -0400

Ron Lee wrote:

>JUst read that the time for this launch is 14:32 PDT (21:32 UT)
>Does this help with the elements?

>MO>12:18 PDT. This is within the launch window. The Titan IV launched from
>MO>VAFB on 2 Aug 93, which blew up, launched at a time that would have placed
>MO>it nearly 150 deg east of NOSS 2-1, and 90 deg west of NOSS 2-2. On 12 May,
>MO>a launch at 14:29 PDT would duplicate this spacing. Of course the ultimate

Ron, I agree that 14:32 PDT is a good match for my
NOSS 2-3 scenario that puts it 150 deg east of NOSS 2-1
and 90 deg west of NOSS 2-2. That seems most probable,
given the available facts.

However, there is still an outside chance that it is
headed for the Kh-11 plane of 95066A - its orbital
plane is over the launch site at 14:22 PDT. This bird
is only 6 months old, and assuming it is operating normally, 
there is no precedent for launching two new ones into
the same plane. On the other hand, there is some confusion
about 95066A and its predecessor, 92083A. The object we have
been calling 95066A is an unusual orbit for a Kh. I won't
go into details now, to save time, but there is a small
chance that 95066A is in trouble, and has to be replaced 
early.

The launch azimuth will settle this, and we can derive
that by studying the off-limits boundaries for sailors and
pilots, which I understand are issued a couple of days
pre-launch. So far, I have tried to obtain the
data from the Coast Guard at Santa Barbara and Long Beach,
but they don't know anything about it. I tried VAFB also, 
but the person I spoke with was not certain that he could
release the information. I guess he could not figure out
why someone in Toronto would be concerned about the
SRB impact foot-print. (I did not volunteer my location, but
I did not lie when he asked.)

There are others on this list who have been able to obtain
this information in the past, so perhaps they will come
through again today.

By the way, where did you read that the launch time will
be 14:32 PDT, and did the article cite a source?

bye for now