Can we observe satellites right after launch?

Philip Chien (
Wed, 22 May 1996 15:28:08 -0400 asked:
>I am interested in seeing satellites soon after launch.  I would
>like to observe geosynchronous apogee burns, GLONASS
>triad soon after separation and similar events.
>This would require getting elements before or soon after launch.
>Are any of the folks on this group able to get elements to support
> such observations?

I suppose the best solution would be to obtain prelaunch predicted keps, or
generate them yourself.

I've seen the shuttle within its first orbit, and a couple of other
launches but they've been pretty rare.

Many people have reported seeing rockets during powered burns, epsecially
the shuttle when its launched towards a high inclination orbit at night.
And a Titan IV carrying a secret payload towards a Molniya orbit was
spotted in Europe during its Centaur burn - excited many astronomers who
thought they had discovered a new bright comet -- until the positional
observations indicated that it wasn't in orbit around the sun!

Philip Chien, Earth News - space writer and consultant  PCHIEN@IDS.NET
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