STS 86 OBS

Floyd Weaver (fweaver@nbn.net)
Fri, 26 Sep 1997 02:15:28 -0400 (EDT)

  I have seen my first shuttle launch! It was higher and brighter than I
was expecting. Even thought maybe I would not see it because of the
clouds. Picked it up first in binoculars as a small dot that was moving
east. Max elv was near 10 or so. It appeared brightest with the naked eye,
but more detail was visable through the binoculars. A few seconds after
MECO a series of flashed were observed (ET seperation). I got it in the
binoculars in time to see the last red glow which faded after a second or
two. Does the ET have small rocket motors that fire for a few seconds to
move it away from the orbiter? I was not expecting to see any prolonged
light from seperation.

  It was a great sight! I will look for more of them. Is it possible to
see unmanned flights along the east coast?

Floyd Weaver
3 miles north of Lebanon Pa.
40.3N 76.4W
http://users.nbn.net/~fweaver