Re: STS-94 Reentry

Robert G Fenske Jr (
Thu, 17 Jul 1997 08:23:46 -0500 (CDT)

On Thu, 17 Jul 1997, Robert Reeves wrote:

> Did anyone happen to catch the STS-94 pass over Texas at 5:23 AM CDT
> Wednesday, April 16?

	I intended to, but didn't set my alarm the previous night (and
subsequently woke up at ~5:30: a tad late).
> Spectacular!  The God's favored us here in San Anmtonio.  Three straight
> clear mornings with STS passes and a reentry.  This is very unseasonal
> weather (usually clouds up at 1 AM.) but I am not complaining.  STS popped
> up over the trees right on time and damn!  It was cooking!  So that's what
> Mach 25 looks like.  One thing or another over the past years has prevented
> me from seeing a reentry, but eveything fell into place this morning.
+> A bright orange fireball followed by that really bright luminescent
> that lasted two minutes under my bright urban sky.  As the trail spread to
> an appearance like a fat jet contrail, you could see puffs and knots in it
> through binoculars.  I can't get over fast it was moving.  It startled me so
> much I was delayed in getting off two pictures, but they should turn out OK.

	This I did see.  The fireball looked yellow to me though, with a
white, yellowish tinged contrail behind it.  Judging from where it 
passed under Polaris, I think the track was a little more southerly
(so higher in the sky) than predicted.  Couldn't tell that there were that
many puffs and knots, but I didn't have any binocs.  I never heard any
sonic boom.  Since I was near loop 410, it's traffic noise may have masked
the boom.  The color was markedly different than the one I saw in
December; that one was definitely orange (the only other one I've seen).
It's neat to see something that has humans in it cruise by in such a
wonderful fashion.

Robert Fenske, Jr.    Sw     |The Taming the C*sm*s series:
Southwest Research Institute            /R---\  |
Signal Exploitation & Geolocation Div  | I    | |"The Martian canals were the
San Antonio,Texas USA  ph:210-522-3931  \----/  | Martians' last ditch effort."