Monday Titan IV/NRO Launch

From: Brian Webb (102670.1206@compuserve.com)
Date: Sun Sep 30 2001 - 14:07:23 EDT

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    	     ASTRONOMY/SPACE ALERT FOR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
    				  
    			 Brian Webb, KD6NRP
    		     Ventura County, California
    		  E-mail: 102670.1206@compuserve.com
    	      Web Site: http://home.earthlink.net/~kd6nrp
    				       
    				  2001 September 30 (Sunday) 10:50 PDT
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    		       Titan IV Launch Tomorrow
    				  
    A Titan IV booster carrying a classified payload is scheduled for
    launch tomorrow (October 1) from Vandenberg AFB at 14:19 PDT.
    
    The booster will lift-off from SLC-4E at south Vandenberg, climb
    steeply, and then begin heading south. Several minutes later, the
    National Reconnaissance Office payload should be inserted into a polar
    orbit.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    			  Viewing Locations
    				  
    The Titan IV is the largest unmanned launch vehicle in the U.S.
    inventory. Its massive solid rocket motors create an impressive
    display - even during daylight launches. Weather permitting, the
    launch should be visible for at least 150 miles.
    
    The weather along the Santa Barbara County coast will probably be
    clear at launch time. If it is, best launch viewing locations will be
    near the south gate of Vandenberg AFB and the parking lot of Refugio
    State Beach.
    
    In my opinion the better of the two sites is Refugio State Beach. It's
    is located about 18 miles west of the west end of Santa Barbara. From
    this location, the Titan IV will fly by you and you'll get a side view
    of the burn of the solid rocket motors from close range.
    
    If you're at either of the above locations and fog or low clouds move
    in prior to launch, head inland for clearer skies. If you're near the
    south gate of the base, take highway 246 east. If you're at Refigio
    State Beach, take Camino del Refugio (Refugio Road) uphill.
    
    If low clouds or fog are present in coastal Santa Barbara County on
    Monday and have not cleared by 09:00 PDT, I would recommend viewing
    the launch from higher ground. In this case the best sites would be
    Santa Ynez Peak or the Cement Water Cistern in the mountains north of
    Santa Barbara (directions to these sites are on my web site under
    "Viewing Vandenberg AFB Missile Launches").
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    			   Countdown Status 
    
    The best source of countdown status will be the Spaceflight Now web
    site (http://www.spaceflightnow.com/titan/b34/status.html). Be sure to
    press the reload button on your browser to see the latest information.
    
    Countdown status will be also be available beginning at T-1 hour on
    the Vandenberg Launch Net. The primary net will be conducted on the
    WB6OBB amateur radio repeater which is located north of Santa Barbara.
    This repeater simulcasts on the following channels:
    
    Frequency          Tone
      (MHz)    Offset  (Hz)
    ---------  ------  -----
     147.000     +     131.8
     224.900     -     131.8
     449.300     -     131.8
    
    For the benefit of observers in outlying areas, a secondary Vandenberg
    Launch Net will be held on the Condor linked repeater system. This
    system simulcasts over the following amateur radio repeaters:
    
    Frequency          Tone
      (MHz)    Offset  (Hz)   Callsign  Location
    ---------  ------  -----  --------  ----------------
     223.840     -     156.7  K7GIL     Victorville
     223.940     -     141.3  WV6H      San Diego
     223.940     -     156.7  WB6RHQ    Thousand Oaks
     224.000     -     156.7  N6HYM     Santa Barbara
     224.180     -     156.7  WB6RHQ    Palm Springs
     224.640     -     156.7  WB6RHQ    Lake Isabella
     224.720     -     156.7  N6XKI     Gorman
     224.820     -     141.3  WB6GBK    Lompoc
     224.820     -     156.7  KJ6J      Orange County
     224.880     -     156.7  WB6RUF    Kingman, Arizona
     224.900     -     156.7  WB6BRU    Fresno
     224.900     -     156.7  W8IXD     Las Vegas
     224.920     -     156.7  N6HYMT    San Luis Obispo
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    			   Launch Excursion
    
    I'm planning on viewing tomorrow's launch from the parking lot of
    Refugio State Beach. If you're interested in joining me, send me an
    e-mail with your home telephone number.
    
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
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