Re: STS99-observation?

From: Chris Peat (
Date: Sat Jan 15 2000 - 11:19:22 PST

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    If the sky is clear in the UK on the evening of the launch you will have a
    good chance to see STS-99, and also the external tank which observers in the
    USA miss because it is on a suborbital flight and re-enters over the Indian
    Ocean before completing one revolution. The tank is also very bright, and
    can be distinguished from the shuttle because of its reddish colour. The
    shuttle should fly over the UK 20 minutes or so after launch, so even if
    there is a delay, you know roughly when to go outside and start looking.
    GSOC, where my Heavens-Above web site is hosted, is heavily involved in the
    mission, and Germany supplied one of the two synthetic aperture radar (SAR)
    instruments being flown. A German astronaut will also be on board.
    I'll also be looking out from Munich.
    Good luck,
    Chris Peat, Heavens-Above GmbH
    Web site:
    > I understand that this mission is related to radar mapping of the
    > earths geography-I assume this means that the majority of the
    > planets surface will be covered-on this basis does that mean the
    > shuttle will have a high inclination orbit, and if so what are the
    > chances of observation from the UK-I would imagine that any (even
    > notional) predictions are difficult until after the time of launch with
    > observers in the USA being the first to analyse orbital data?
    > George Amos-station 2453 350 feet above sea level
    > 53 degrees 23 minutes 49 seconds North
    > 2 degrees 4 minutes 57 seconds West
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