RE: ISS-Shuttle Tail

From: Virgil (
Date: Tue Oct 17 2000 - 11:30:32 PDT

  • Next message: Leo Barhorst: "Obs 13, 14, 17 Oct + ISS/STS92"

    On Tue, 17 Oct 2000 10:04:07 -0700, Matson, Robert wrote:
    It *was* leading the complex.  High drag on the water (which 
    quickly becomes ice) causes it do drop into a lower orbit 
    which in turn causes it to race ahead of the shuttle.  The 
    lower the drop in altitude, the greater the velocity of the 
    ice crystals -- this is what leads to the "C" shape. 
    Hmmm. It seems to me that there isn't enough atmosphere at that altitude to
    provide THAT much drag. Since the water appears to get quite a distance away
    from the shuttle rather quickly, I figured that the water was squirted out
    with significant velocity and intentionally directed down. I also assumed
    that the water is sprayed in such a way as to minimize the droplet size and
    disperse the cloud quickly. 
    Too many assumptions! The water dump is sure a dramatic demonstration of how
    counter-intuitive orbital mechanics can be. I wish NASA would schedule them
    for maximum visibility. 
    39.0731N 108.6119W 1417m
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    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Tue Oct 17 2000 - 11:31:22 PDT