More on Titan launch obs

From: Daniel Deak (
Date: Fri Apr 29 2005 - 21:39:11 EDT

  • Next message: Ted Molczan: "B-30 observed"

    Hi again,
    At first, I want to say that I had only 10 minutes to take my messages and get 
    prepared for this observation. It has been raining here for a week and was too 
    busy to read my messages everyday. Miraculously, the skies cleared in the area 
    of the rocket trajectory and I remembered 10 minutes before launch that there 
    was a Titan 4 launch tonight and rushed to be ready on time. I've not been able 
    to run pass predictions with Ted's elsets because I was too short on time but 
    relied on my estimate of Az and elevation based on my Shuttle launch obs in 
    Washington in 2001. It worked !
    I spotted a fast moving light coming from the southwest at about mag 1. It 
    looked like the ISS but faster. No plume was visible with my 20x80. Then, at 
    about 00:59:15 UTC, a triangular plume emerged from behind the dot of light. 
    There was an interruption in the plume as it took a more linear shape. Then I 
    saw two jets projected at about a 100 degree angle between them and directed 
    forward. These two jets were, for me, a separation manoeuvre designed to slow 
    the rocket stage. Soon after, I could resolve two identical dots of light. I 
    presume they were the rocket stage and the payload. They were identical in 
    colour and magnitude. Colour was quite white.
    I followed the objects with my 20x80 while Lucille was watching at 1x and with 
    her 8x40. The fuel venting and exhaust plumes were short lived but were amazing 
    to see expanding rapidly. I was too unprepared for accurate timings and 
    positions but was thrilled to see my second live spacecraft separation.
    Daniel Deak
    Webmestre, site Obsat
    L'Avenir, Quebec
    COSPAR site 1747 : 45.7275N, 72.3526W, 191 m., UTC-5:00
    Site en francais sur les satellites:
    French-language satellite web site :
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