OT: Starshine 3 Re-Entry Possibilities

From: Matson, Robert (ROBERT.D.MATSON@saic.com)
Date: Tue Jan 14 2003 - 17:59:27 EST

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    Hi All,
    Currently, there is about a 4-day window of possible reentry dates
    centered on late January 20th (UT).  During this window there are
    23 orbits with ground tracks that intersect some portion of the
    continental U.S.  At this point nearly every state is intersected
    by one of these ground tracks -- the exceptions are Kentucky,
    Illinois, Indiana, Connecticut, and New Hampshire.  Only one
    orbital ground track intersects each of the following states:
    Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Delaware,
    New Jersey, Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
    States with at least 5 passes include California, Oregon, Texas,
    Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York.
    Europe also has its share of possibilities:  6 tracks intersect
    France and Italy, 8 tracks intersect some portion of the UK,
    Spain 4, Portugal 2, Switzerland 1, Austria 3 (including a
    pass right over Vienna around 21:20 UT on January 18th),
    Germany 2, Belgium 2, Netherlands 2, Poland 6, Sweden 14
    and Norway 15 (thanks to their high latitudes).
    Since STARSHINE 3's orbit is quite circular, the oblateness of
    the earth is a larger factor than the perigee position as far
    as favoring a particular reentry latitude.  So the northern
    hemisphere is favored on ascending nodes, the southern hemisphere
    on descending nodes.  Of the 23 previously mentioned passes over
    the continental U.S., 12 are ascending node passes.  These passes
    favor California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana,
    Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Minnesota, Florida, North
    Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York.
    In the coming days, the reentry window will narrow, and more
    locations will be eliminated as possible reentry spots.
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