Discovery and ISS from Japan

From: Marc Bradshaw (
Date: Fri Oct 13 2000 - 08:01:50 PDT

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    Greetings everyone,
    This is my second post to the list, apologies for not introducing myself
    I am a comms engineer, now working for an internet company in Japan. I
    have been interested in satellite observing since I found (more or less
    at the same time) PocketSat for the Palm OS and STS Plus for DOS, in
    July of this year. Previous to my new pastime, I had observed three
    satellites visually, twice from the Sahara dessert in 1993 (a somewhat
    more ideal observation location than most places I know), and once in
    Airlie Beach, Queensland Australia, a few years later. I knew what they
    were when I saw them, but never took much interest untilrecently.
    Since then, with the help of PocketSat, STSPlus, Heavens Above and ELE's
    from Celestrak, I have predicted and observed numerous satellites and Ir
    flares. However, due to poor conditions here and timing and whatnot, I
    had to wait until tonight, about 7pm (10am UCT), until I observed first
    the ISS, then about a minute and a half later and perhaps a few (?)
    degrees lower and a bit brighter, the space shuttle Discovery. WOW!!
    According to the NASA site, docking will occur at around 0245 am local
    time here, 1745 UCT, which means that within around six hours or so the
    shuttle will have caught up with the ISS, which seems quite fast to me.
    Is it? I had quite fancied seeing them a bit closer together.
    I also get shuttle ELE's from David Ransom's list, and was wondering how
    quickly they are updated, since from my original post it seems clear
    that shuttle does a lot of wondering about during a typical mission - as
    does whatever it is attached to at the time! The same for Heavens Above
    and Celestrak. If I get the latest set are my predictions going to be
    OK? And who has the *very* latest sets?
    In any case, my ongoing thanks to the members of the list, each of
    whom's postings only add to my enjoyment of visual satellite
    Marc Bradshaw
    37.028N  138.254E  75M AMSL
    P.S. I must have looked quite a sight tonight standing in our local park
    with my scuba mask on. I squashed my specs (again) yesterday, and my
    scuba mask is the only thing apart from my sunglasses with prescription
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