Atlantis and ET Solar Transit

From: Gerhard HOLTKAMP (grd.holtkamp@t-online.de)
Date: Tue Sep 05 2006 - 14:57:46 EDT

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    The planned orbit elements for a launch of the upcoming Atlantis flight on 
    6-SEP-06, 16:28:51 UTC have now been posted on 
    	spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/elements
    As  we already have come to know about these data the TLEs for the Meco orbit 
    arc are wrong.  Try the following set instead:
    
    shuttle meco
    1     0           06249.69450450 0.00000000  00000-0  95600-4 0     1
    2     0  51.6337 128.0960 0127665 348.7535  72.2002 16.48582149     1
    
    Using the also given state vector and numerical propagation I find the 
    following coordinates for places in Europe where a solar transit of Atlantis 
    and the ET might be visible (times in UTC):
    
    SEP  6  16:47:40     -7.82115    52.87206
    SEP  6  16:47:45     -7.16436    52.83395
    SEP  6  16:47:50     -6.50471    52.79268
    SEP  6  16:47:55     -5.84205    52.74825
    SEP  6  16:48:00     -5.17619    52.70063
    SEP  6  16:48:05     -4.50695    52.64979
    SEP  6  16:48:10     -3.83407    52.59573
    SEP  6  16:48:15     -3.15732    52.53840
    SEP  6  16:48:20     -2.47638    52.47777
    SEP  6  16:48:25     -1.79093    52.41382
    SEP  6  16:48:30     -1.10058    52.34651
    SEP  6  16:48:35     -0.40490    52.27578
    SEP  6  16:48:40      0.29660    52.20159
    SEP  6  16:48:45      1.00259    52.12370
    SEP  6  16:48:50      1.71736    52.04240
    SEP  6  16:48:55      2.43991    51.95744
    SEP  6  16:49:00      3.17111    51.86873
    SEP  6  16:49:05      3.91197    51.77615
    SEP  6  16:49:10      4.66368    51.67959
    SEP  6  16:49:15      5.42763    51.57889
    SEP  6  16:49:20      6.20551    51.47388
    SEP  6  16:49:25      6.99933    51.36434
    SEP  6  16:49:30      7.81153    51.24999
    SEP  6  16:49:35      8.64517    51.13052
    SEP  6  16:49:40      9.50403    51.00549
    SEP  6  16:49:45     10.39300    50.87436
    SEP  6  16:49:50     11.31849    50.73642
    SEP  6  16:49:55     12.28915    50.59070
    SEP  6  16:50:00     13.31712    50.43581
    SEP  6  16:50:05     14.42027    50.26972
    SEP  6  16:50:10     15.62668    50.08918
    SEP  6  16:50:15     16.98423    49.88856
    SEP  6  16:50:20     18.58222    49.65682
    SEP  6  16:50:25     20.45028    49.38103
    
    You have to be within 2 or 3 km of the central line over the British Isles so 
    depending on how reliable the pre-launch orbit is your chances to see 
    something are probably low. Once over Germany the conditions relax somewhat 
    to +/-10 km so the chances would increase to see the transit. 
    
    Let's hope for an on-time launch at long last and clear skies.
    
    Gerhard HOLTKAMP
    Darmstadt, Germany
      
    
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