LCROSS cruise orbit acquisition June 26-28 after lunar flyby

From: Canopus56 (canopus56@yahoo.com)
Date: Fri Jun 19 2009 - 21:32:01 UTC

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    From LCROSS Facebook and Flight Director's Blog
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/LCROSS-Lunar-Impactor-Mission/154478180006?ref=s
    LCROSS Lunar Impactor Mission Paul, our Flight Directory, posted a blog about LCROSS's first night in space, at http://wiki.nasa.gov/cm/blog/lcrossfdblog 
    LCROSS is currently on its way to swing-by the moon. Closest approach is timed for June 23 (DOY174) 10:28 UTC. Then LCROSS goes into a Lunar Gravity Assist Lunar Return Orbit (LGALRO) for 113 days until impacting south pole Oct 9 (DOY283) 11:30 UTC.
    
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    LCROSS cruise orbit acquisition 
    Horizon's ephemeris data for LCROSS (for my topoecentric o.p. at 110W and at 6UT each), indicates that acquisition imaging attempts for LCROSS for larger apetures might become practical between June 26 through 28.  After June 28, increasing First Quarter Moon to Full Moon sky washout will interfere.
    
    LCROSS Ephemeris for 110W 41N 
    (modified NASA JPL Horizons data) 
    
    Date-time UT  RA       Dec       Alt Az  SOT Const
    Jun-19 06     051124.04+104844.4 344 -37  15 Ori
    Jun-20 06     060500.85+174703.6 333 -27  6  Ori
    Jun-21 06     062424.94+194718.1 330 -23  6  Gem
    Jun-22 06     063700.30+210241.5 329 -21  8  Gem
    Jun-23 06     064425.29+222015.0 328 -20  8  Gem
    Jun-24 06     072652.87+323702.4 325 -7  18  Gem
    Jun-25 06     083257.05+395958.6 319  5  33  Lyn
    Jun-26 06     094418.89+440326.1 313 17  46  UMa
    Jun-27 06     105428.70+445954.2 307 27  58  UMa
    Jun-28 06  m  115711.67+432850.9 299 36  68  UMa
    Jun-29 06  m  124950.06+402024.2 291 43  78  CVn
    Jun-30 06  m  133301.19+361616.9 281 48  86  CVn
    Jul-01 06  m  140838.66+314400.1 270 52  94  Boo
    Jul-02 06  m  143837.52+265931.7 258 55  102 Boo
    Jul-03 06  m  150430.63+221124.4 246 56  109 Boo
    Jul-04 06  m  152727.83+172353.2 234 56  115 Ser
    Jul-05 06  m  154821.08+123852.2 224 54  121 Ser
    Jul-06 06  m  160749.67+075702.3 214 52  127 Ser
    
    For the history of prior amateur imaging acquisitions of a similar sized Apollo 12 booster in 2002-2003 at analogous distances of 500,000-700,000km using 12" and 14" of aperture, see Selenology Today Issue No. 13 at: 
    http://digilander.libero.it/glrgroup/selenologytoday13.pdf 
    - at pages 83-84 (digital pages 86-87) and Spaceweather.com http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2002/images/mysteryobject/gallery/gallery_j002e3.html (2002). 
    
    Between June 19 and lunar flyby on June 23,  LCROSS will be too close to the Sun to image.  "SOT" in the above table means Sun-Observer-Target angle. 
    
    Clear Skies - Kurt 
    
    
    
          
    
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