Re: Shenzhou 5: possible launch time

From: Zhu Jin (
Date: Tue Oct 14 2003 - 09:15:34 EDT

  • Next message: George Roberts: "Re: Shenzhou 5: possible launch time"

    It's great to see that you could give some prediction on the Shenzhou 5
    elements. I'm planing to make some observations near Beijing (117E, 40N)
    during 15/16 night. From your elements, it seems that we have no possibility
    to see the spacecraft in Oct. 15 evening, and may only have some chance
    in early morning of Oct. 16 at around 04:34 local time (Oct. 15 20:34 UT).
    However, because the spacecraft is going to go back at about two hours
    later, it may aready start to change its orbit before that time? What would
    be the approximate time for the spacecraft starting changing its orbit for
    landing? And if the orbit is changed before that time (it might be changing
    graduately?), could we still see it along the similiar path and only some
    time difference? Or it will be totally different? It seems that it may also
    has a pass near 02:58 but in shaddow. Is it possible to see it even when
    it is in shaddow if it is changing its orbit (maybe some firing procedure)?
    I made some satellite watching before including Shenzhou 4 from the city.
    However, it's too complex to compute the coordinates, so I didn't send
    the report... Anyway, I enjoyed to read observations on the list.
    With thanks and best regards, Jin
    Jin Zhu
    Beijing Planetarium
    > For observation planning purposes, I recommend the search elements that I
    > derived on the basis of launch at 01:00 UTC:
    > I suspect that the launch window may be several hours long, which could make
    > launch at 01:00 or 01:15 UTC academic.
    > I will issue updated elements as soon as I learn of the official launch time, or
    > a credible report of same, or the news of the actual launch. 
    > To ensure that observers have reliable search elements in time for morning
    > observations, I will not go to bed until I receive news either of a scrub or
    > that that the launch has occurred.
    > Many thanks to Sven Grahn for his informative articles on the Shenzhou program:
    > Thank you also to Phillip Clark, whose in-depth researches into Shenzhou orbits
    > eased my preparation for this launch.
    > Ted Molczan
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