STS-77 AND TITAN SEARCH

Maley, Paul D. (PMALEY@GP808.jsc.nasa.gov)
Tue, 21 May 1996 07:38:20 -0500

NOSS payload search: Using Ted's elset from yesterday I did a search 10 
minutes on either side of 07h29m48s GMT for a "favorable" view point of the 
orbit described. Nothing was seen though I should have been able to detect 
objects down to +7 magnitude

The Inflatable Antenna Experiment lives! Contrary to our own flight dynamics 
projections which forecasted the IAE to decay last night, the IAE payload is 
alive and well. I observed it at 10h34m GMT this morning at magnitude +0. 
Variation in brightness was slow and it was not possible to discern if the 
rotation period as seen on TV yesterday (about 42 seconds) was present. The 
orbiter appeared overhead (height 182 st. mi.= 291km) at 10h37m29 s at 
magnitude -1 with the SPARTAN payload (that had held and inflated the IAE) 
about 6 seconds of time in front of it as is the usual fashion prior to 
retrieval.  The orbiter faded slowly to 0 as it moved from WSW to ENE and 
the SPARTAN dropped rapidly from +2 magnitude down to +6 in less than one 
minute.  All of this caught on video and to be shown at EUROSOM 2.

Paul Maley
pmaley@gp808.jsc.nasa.gov