RE: Milstar 5 Titan 4/Centaur Launch

From: Matson, Robert (ROBERT.D.MATSON@saic.com)
Date: Wed Jan 16 2002 - 13:07:51 EST

  • Next message: Alan Pickup: "Decay watch: 2002 January 16"

    Hi Rick and List,
    
    Congrats on having clear skies to view the Milstar 5 Centaur fuel dump!
    I was watching, starting at 10:30pm.  I was concerned about a report
    that I read online that stated the separation would occur roughly
    *6* hours after launch rather than seven, so I figured better safe
    than sorry.
    
    It may be fortunate that I started looking so early.  At 11:05pm, I
    believe a fuzzy puff less than 0.2 degrees in diameter was visible at
    the expected location, but it was only about 7th magnitude and within
    30 seconds, coastal clouds rolled in and shut me down from that point
    on.  Drat!  So I can't be sure if what I saw was actually orbital, or
    a conveniently placed atmospheric cloudlet.  Did anyone else spot
    anything at about this time?  I wondered if the "puff" might have
    been associated with payload pyro separation.
    
    Thanks Mike for the heads-up on this.  Living close to the Pacific
    has its obvious advantages, but satellite watching unfortunately is
    not one of them.
    
    Best,
    Rob
    
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