STS-96 sighted from Qantas 747-400

Peter Hunter (
Fri, 28 May 1999 04:39:26 +1000

STS-96 was sighted on second orbit from Qantas Flight 101, VH-OJL "City of
Ballarat", Auckland-Los Angeles. Position N18 55, W137 55. Aircraft  track
036m. Altitude 35000ft. Time 27/1353UTC.

First seen 4 o'clock, elevation mag 1, . Passed ahead to 12 o'clock, faded
at elev 25d against approaching sunrise.

External tank reentry was looked for but not seen on previous orbit.
Predicted impact zone was SE-NE of aircraft position below horizon as per

Predictions and real-time monitoring were done running STSOrbit Plus
(thanks Dave), using post-OMS2 preflight predicted tles (thanks Ken) on a
Dell Inspiron notebook (thanks Michael).

Captain Peter Hunter.
(sent on arrival Los Angeles).