Re: Shuttle Re-entry

Jake Rees (
Mon, 27 Dec 1999 21:10:21 -0800

Steve Rogers wrote:
<Yes, there's some sort of built in delay. I missed it because of that . . .

The NASA-TV tracking map for STS-103 being 45 min. behind real time reminds
me of how I became motivated to get more involved with satellite tracking.
It related to NASA-TV but in a negative way.  In 1995, I had downloaded the
tracking program STS Plus from the JPL BBS.  Not being a whiz with computer
programs, I wasn't sure how to set it up and run it.  I had been interested
enough to download it but too lazy or not motivated enough to get involved
in learning to run it.  I had access to NASA-TV via the big satellite dish
system.  Once during a Shuttle mission, I noticed, because of the tracking
map on NASA-TV, that the Shuttle was in transit acoss the Pacific and it
appeared that it would make a visible pass over southern California.  So I
planned to monitor its progress and then when it got close to the coast, I
would go out and look.  Great!  One problem though.  Whoever was controlling
the images on NASA-TV had decided not to put the map on screen.  Instead
they aired a wide shot of the mission control room from the front.  It was
just people sitting at their consoles.  Nothing was going on.  They never
showed the map again until the Shuttle was somewhere past California. This
aggravated me to no end.  I found a site on the web to send feedback to NASA
and wrote a complaint to the director of NASA-TV.  Of course, I never
received any response.

At this point, I was extremely motivated to be able to do my own tracking
and not be dependent on NASA-TV.  So, I buried myself into the STS Plus
tracking program until I had it mastered.   I have NASA-TV to thank for my

Now I can always track the STS missions on STS Plus in real time along with
watching NASA-TV.  If they choose not to show the tracking map or have some
error in it, no big deal.  I've got it on my STS Plus display.

-- Jake Rees
    Burbank, California

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