Possible Vandenberg Missile Sky Show for California & US Southwest Friday Evening

From: Jake Rees (jrburca@netzero.net)
Date: Fri Jul 07 2000 - 00:00:12 PDT

  • Next message: Tony Beresford: "Re: FW: what did we see?"

    I don't know if Brian was going to post about this but I am taking the
    liberty of posting it so those interested and in position will know and be
    able to plan.  The one Oct.2, 1999 was spectacular.  Hope this one goes in
    twilight.
    
    Jake Rees
    Burbank, California
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ---------------------------
                       ASTRONOMY/SPACE ALERT FOR SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
    
                                    Brian Webb, KD6NRP
                                Ventura County, California
                            E-mail: 102670.1206@compuserve.com
            Web Page: http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/rawhide_home_page
    
                                                  2000 July 05 (Wednesday) 20:50
    PDT
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    ----
    
                            Missile Defense Test This Friday
    
    A missile launch from Vandenberg AFB scheduled to occur between 19:01 and
    23:01
    PDT on July 7th might be visible across the southwestern U.S.
    
    The U.S. Air Force will launch an MSLS missile (a modified Minuteman II) on
    a
    steep ballistic arc towards the west-southwest. The refurbished ICBM will
    reach
    a maximum altitude of about 900 miles and send an unarmed warhead and
    balloon
    decoy towards the central Pacific. The objects will be used as targets to
    test
    the proposed National Missile Defense system.
    
    As the warhead and decoy close in, a second missile carrying a Kill Vehicle
    (KV)
    will be launched from the Marshall Islands. The KV will attempt to detect,
    track, and collide with the warhead.
    
    Although the launch is listed as being at 19:01 PDT, which is well before
    sunset, there's a good chance that the actual launch time will be at
    Vandenberg's sunset or during evening twilight.
    
    If the missile is launched between 20:00 and 21:30 PDT, the sun will have
    set
    and the missile's smoke trail and exhaust plume will be backlit by the sun.
    This will create an impressive sight that could be visible as far away as
    southern Oregon and Idaho, southwestern Colorado, and western New Mexico.
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                                      Launch Status
    
    For the status of Friday's launch, consult the following sources:
    
        Joint Pacific Area Scheduling Office
        http://mocc.vafb.af.mil/launchsched.asp
    
        This is the official Vandenberg AFB launch schedule and is usually only
        updated during normal working hours Monday through Friday.
    
        Vandenberg Launch Update Line
        30th Space Wing Public Affairs Office
        805-606-1857
    
        A tape recorded message regarding the status of the next scheduled
    launch.
        It is NOT updated during the countdown or in the event of a hold.
    
        Vandenberg Launch Net (VHF)
        WB6OBB Repeater
        147.000 MHz, +600 KHz Offset, 131.8 Hz PL
    
        Countdown updates for ham radio operators and scanner listeners by way
    of
        the WB6OBB ham radio repeater west of Santa Barbara. This repeater's
    signal
        reaches from Thousand Oaks to San Luis Obispo. This net will be convened
    at
        18:30 PDT on launch day.
    
        Vandenberg Launch Net (HF)
        3,815.5 KHz LSB
    
        For the benefit of hams in outlying areas, a second launch net will be
        conducted on HF (shortwave) in the 80-meter ham band. Hams who are
    within
        range of the Santa Barbara repeater and can operate on 80-meters will
    pass
        information from the local VHF net over to this net. This net will also
        start at 18:30 PDT.
    
    
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