Re: STS-77 Reentry Observed (!)

Philip Chien (
Sun, 2 Jun 1996 23:28:18 -0400

Jim Varney <> said:
>You're not alone "being in the wrong place."  After STS-78 so will I.
>There are no more 39 degree missions planned after July's STS-78, so my
>luck will run out... and STS-78 will be inferior to -77, as that reentry
>will be in twilight here.

Actually there _will_ be more 39 degree missions.

39 degrees is chosen whenever there's enough shuttle uphill performance
(e.g. not a full payload load) and there are no requirements for any other
inclination.  39 is especially useful because it keeps the landing passes
at the same time each day on long missions.  In addition it can be used
with a 277 km. altitude to keep the astronauts on the same wake/sleep cycle
each day, an important issue for spacelab life science missions.

So as Space Station slips to the right (what'da mean you don't think it's
going to slip?) additional spacelab flights will be added, and many will
use 39 degree orbits.

I'd bet money that the STS-83 Microgravity Science Laboratory mission will
become a 39 degree mission for the above reasons.

>Philip Chien wrote:
>>Yeah, those of us in Florida don't get to see much of reentries either!
>Trade ya.  Trade ya my reentry for your launch! :)

nah, I like seeing launches and entries up close.  Now if I can only
schedule the weather better so I can get some better visible passes!

Philip Chien, Earth News - space writer and consultant  PCHIEN@IDS.NET
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