Re: Titan-4 Launch

From: Ed Cannon (
Date: Tue Apr 26 2005 - 03:16:23 EDT

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    Joe Rao wrote, asking about the possible visibility of the 
    upcoming Titan 4B launch from the Cape in relation to a 
    highly inclined space shuttle launch:
    >I am now wondering if a similar set of viewing circumstances 
    >might exist for those of us along the US East Coast for next 
    >Thursday's Titan-4 launch?  
    >    The only other thing that I have been able to find out 
    >about this launch is that Canada's Defense Minister Bill 
    >Graham recently voiced concerns that rocket debris from the 
    >Titan could fall on offshore oil platforms ~215 miles 
    >southeast of Newfoundland and that the trajectory would be 
    >similar to another Titan rocket launch in 1994.
    Welcome Joe!  Seems no one has replied here to your message.  
    I don't know much but found on the site 
    a possible 63-degree, 100 nautical mile nominal orbit,
    mentioning that this launch, originally to be from 
    Vandenberg, was then "SB-WASS - Consolidated Program"
    "The Mission-B requirement calls for a 17,000 pound payload 
    to be placed into a nominal 100 NM 63-degree inclination 
    orbit from either the Cape or Vandenberg."
    As you know, 100 nautical miles (115 statute miles, 184 km) 
    is very low, so I guess I would wonder about its visibility 
    from very far away.  (One would have to ask about its 
    expected duration in orbit.)
    See Ted's message a few weeks ago about the possibility of
    this being (or not being) a NOSS launch:

    Here are some pages with histories of Titan launches:

    It seems that the only Titan 4 launches in 1994 appear to 
    have been with upper stages, and all were equatorial except 
    the one on May 3.
    FWIW, here's a French version of a Canadian parliament 
    discussion of their concerns about this launch under the 
    long URL that will be broken, requiring copy-and-paste) -
    I do hope that some folks are able to observe the launch 
    from the northeast USA and/or Canada's maritime provinces.
    Ed Cannon - - Austin, Texas, USA
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