Re: Bright Moon, Dim Shuttle

Daniel Deak (
Thu, 23 Dec 1999 02:10:42 -0500

Hi everybody,

Ed Cannon wrote:

> My observation was that the Shuttle/Hubble pass here was not as bright
> as I expected.  It didn't get as bright as Saturn, but as it went into
> the general vicinity of Aldebaran it did get about as bright as that
> star.
> Question:  When will the Shuttle undock from/release the HST?  I tried
> unsuccessfully to find that information on a couple of NASA Web sites.

About the brightness of the Shuttle-Hubble pair, I would say that it's dim
because of the attitude of Hubble's solar arrays that are parallel to the orbiter
and mask the shuttle radiators contained in the payload bay doors. Moreover,
since Hubble is in a vertical position in the payload bay and the Shuttle flies
inverted, we see the telescope in its least favourable attitude. Am I right ?

As for the release of the telescope, after the actual launch has taken place,
it was scheduled to be at around 23:03 UT on Dec. 25.

Cheers to you lucky ones who can observe the Shuttle on this mission,
I'm too far north !


Daniel Deak
Drummondville, Québec

COSPAR site 1746 : 45.8537°N, 72.4857°W, 90 m., UTC-5:00

E-mail :        ICQ : 52770063
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