Re: Shenzhou 6 - preliminary search elements and visibility

From: J. Zhu (jinzhu@bjp.org.cn)
Date: Mon Oct 10 2005 - 10:58:49 EDT

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    Dear Ted,
    
    	 The recent news is that Shenzhou 6 would be launched on 2005 October 12,
    at 01:30 UTC. Could you give the predicting elements for the launch time?
    What do you expect for the magnitude of the spaceship? The Beijing Planetarium 
    and Amateur Astronomer magzine (published in Chinese) is trying to organize
    some kind of observations of the spaceship in Beijing and we would also like
    to collect all the photographic and video observations of Shenzhou 6 from all
    over the world and show these in our exhibition and magzine... I wish that 
    SeeSat-L friends could also help on this.
         For the case of previous Shenzhou 5, I made some prediction of its only
    visible pass in Beijing based on your elements and really saw the pass, and
    some of my colleagues took photos and video record of the pass in Xinglong. 
    
    ======= 2005-09-27 02:14:22 You wrote in your letter: =======
    
    >Agence France-Presse reports that The China News Service reports that Shenzhou 6
    >is expected to be launched on 2005 Oct 13, at 03:00 UTC, "but the time could
    >change due to weather and ongoing preparations"..
    >
    >http://www.spacedaily.com/news/china-05zzzzzzzn.html
    >
    >The launch time is in close agreement with Phil Clark's estimate, posted
    >recently to FP-Space:
    >
    >http://www.friends-partners.org/pipermail/fpspace/2005-September/017901.html
    >
    >Shenzhou 6 is expected to carry a crew of two, on a 4.8 day mission..
    >
    >Below are search elements and visibility prospects, for the above launch date
    >and time. I will issue revisions as new information may warrant..
    >
    >Predictions should be accurate to well within one minute of time during the
    >first 24 h of the mission. Actual elements should become available well before
    >then..
    >
    >1. Elliptical Parking Orbit until 2005 Oct 13 at 09:53 UTC
    >
    >The spacecraft and rocket body will be in nearly same orbit for the first approx
    >6 h and 53 m after launch. Below are search elsets for both..
    > 
    >Shenzhou 6 r    15.5  3.4  0.0  4.4 d
    >1 70601U          05286.17264995  .00809611  00000-0  60000-3 0    05
    >2 70601  42.4153  58.5491 0102545 130.0626 230.9292 16.03716253    03
    >
    >Shenzhou 6       7.8  2.5  0.0  5.4 d
    >1 70600U          05286.17266368  .00794136  00000-0  60000-3 0    05
    >2 70600  42.4153  58.5491 0106040 130.0626 230.9292 16.02866600    07
    >
    >The rocket's apogee will be nearly 5 km lower than Shenzhou's, as a result of
    >its separation manoeuvre upon orbital insertion. Therefore, Shenzhou will trail
    >a short distance behind its rocket..
    > 
    >2. Circularized Orbit after 2005 Oct 13 at 09:53 UTC
    >
    >Shenzhous 1, 3, 4 and 5 manoeuvred to raise their perigee as they passed through
    >apogee for the 5th time. Shenzhou 1 raised its perigee by only 8 km; Shenzhous
    >3, 4 and 5 raised it more than 130 km, to nearly circularize their orbit, and
    >Shenzhou 6 is expected to do the same. Approx 6 h and 53 m after launch,
    >Shenzhou 6 should be in this orbit:
    >
    >Shenzhou 6       7.8  2.5  0.0  5.4 d
    >1 70600U          05286.42182953  .00072180  00000-0  40000-3 0    06
    >2 70600  42.4207  56.9499 0002833 248.3475 111.7085 15.78579562    03
    >
    >3. Visibility Windows
    >
    >The following is only a rough guide to visibility. Prospective observers are
    >encouraged to use the above elements to determine their visibility prospects
    >with certainty..
    >
    >Northern hemisphere observers well south of about 45 deg N latitude will have
    >morning visibility. The visibility window will move north during the mission, so
    >50 deg N observers are likely to have some visible passes..
    >
    >Southern hemisphere observers well south of about 30 deg S, and north of about
    >55 deg S, will have evening visibility. 
    >
    >Ted Molczan
    >
    >
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    >
    
    = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
    			
    
    With best regards, Jin
    
    2005-10-10 
    =========================================================				
    Dr. Jin Zhu                         Tel.: +86-10-51583002
    Director, Beijing Planetarium             +86-13601369613
    No. 138 Xizhimenwai Street           fax: +86-10-68353003
    Beijing 100044, CHINA            email: jinzhu@bjp.org.cn
    =========================================================				
    
    
    
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