RE: Columbia water dump

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Thu Jan 23 2003 - 12:53:21 EST

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    Regarding the absence of visible evidence of a waste water dump, 20 minutes after the scheduled end of the dump, Willie Koorts
    > Conclusion:  
    > - The dump was not done to schedule - could the air 
    > conditioning problems 
    >   they experience at present have anything to do with this?
    > - The ice sublimates quicker than we thought - someone here 
    > suggested it 
    >   lasting several orbits?
    The dump remained in the updated timeline issued yesterday, so it seems unlikely to have been cancelled.
    It had been my understanding that the ice sublimates within minutes, but there have been reports of sightings long after water
    dumps. Perhaps someone should make a retrospective study of water dumps reported to SeeSat-L and on USENET, to determine whether or
    not there are any special circumstances that tend to delay sublimation. One possibility that comes to mind is termination occurring
    while the orbiter is in eclipse.
    In conducting such a study, it would be important to obtain actual dump imitation and termination times, as opposed to scheduled
    times. Could that information be obtained without having to file a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) reqest?
    The observer's location and time of observation also would be required. In most cases, the latter could be computed using the
    shuttle's elements and the observer's location.
    Ted Molczan
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