RE: STRANGE OBSERVATION OF STS-78 !! SID (fwd)

Willie Koorts (wpk@saao.ac.za)
Sat, 29 Jun 1996 09:28:40 +0200 (GMT+0200)

Hi Folks

Attatched is some answers from NASA for your information.

I was indeed very happy to have had a pass at the right time.  I just 
looked at the week's shuttle predictions and it happened on the closest 
pass for the whole visability stint - Range = 285 km.  If I can believe 
my rough calculations this tranlates to a physical length of 10km in the 
sky (taken a 2 degree ground length).

Hope there is more.

Willie Koorts

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 29 Jun 1996 00:02:38 -0500
From: TMCDONAL@GP808.jsc.nasa.gov
To: Willie Koorts <wpk@saao.ac.za>
Subject: RE: STRANGE OBSERVATION OF STS-78 !! SID


Hi Willie,

According to the logs in Mission Control, that was indeed a water dump. The 
shuttle is operating normally. I guess the light reflected off it in an 
unusual way, causing the vapor to shine so brilliantly. I can't explain the 
unusual "j" shape; perhaps the orbiter was using an RCS thruster to change 
attitude and the vented water caught a "breeze."

Here are the facts, according to my contact in Flight Design and Dynamics:

A water dump took place from UTC 180/15:55 through 180/17:12.  This is from 
5:55 pm to 7:12 pm
South Africa time. Your sighting was at about 6:45 pm.

Best wishes,
Terry McDonald

P.S.  Sorry to take all day answering your question. I had to wait until my 
contact was at work in Mission Control, and his shift just started an hour 
ago. I hope you haven't had too many UFO calls! tm