Re: Ariane 4 Launch Fuel Dump?

Date: Fri May 03 2002 - 23:46:57 EDT

In a message dated Fri, 3 May 2002 10:23:57 PM Eastern Daylight
Time, Daniel Deak <> writes:

>"Ted A. Nichols II" wrote:
>> Greetings all,
>> I'm looking for a confirmation of a possible fuel dump performed by the
>> Ariane 4 Rocket launching Spot 5.
>From what I saw it sure was. The C-shaped nebula grew quite fast around the
>stage, up to 4 degrees in diameter. It remained in the vicinity of the stage. A
>few moments later, we could distinguish two objects surrounded by this cloud.

I believe that it was a fuel dump.

At my location there was a moderate haze in the east and NE.  I observed absolutely nothing during the powered part of the ascent.  

I acquired the sunlit rocket at 01:50:58 UTC, 4 May. About 2 seconds later it
 passed about .1 deg over one of the brighter stars of Hercules (probably delta,
maybe epsilon in the ENE elevation about 25 deg). At about 01:51:30 I noticed 
that it brightened and there was a bright haze surrounding it - which illuminated 
the haze in the atmosphere.  The haze (from the fuel dump) was noticeable for 
about a minute. 

I could not resolve the SPOT 5 payload.   With clear, dark skies that may have 
been possible.  It disappeared from view at 01:57:46 UTC.  

Don Gardner  39.1799 N, 76.8406 W, 100m ASL

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