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Michael P. Murphy (
Thu, 28 Mar 1996 22:16:19 -0500

Hello Everyone...

 My name is Michael Murphy, and I live in Springfield, Ohio...USA (39 57'54"
N, 83 45' 36" W, 1050 ft (323M)).  This year marks my 20th watching
satellites visually.  I am an aerospace engineer (BS '82, MS '91, University
of Cincinnati) currently working at a gas engine manufacturer as a controls
engineer and jack of all trades.  Like many space nuts, just waiting for
things to get moving again in spaceflight!

 Just recently built a 486 machine up from junk, so I am now back on the
internet.  Read the traffic on TS Kelso's Celestial BBS for many years,
thank God for SeeSat-L, looks like I've found the hiding place for a lot of
the old Celestial BBS folks and the international crowd!

 My interest in visual observing goes back to an intense childhood interest
in the goings on of the '60s, the then secret Russian programs, and a
growing interest in radio in my teens.  I read Jim Oberg's article in late
'75 Science Digest magazine on backyard observing of satellites and sent a
letter to Moonwatch a couple of months before it disbanded forever.
Interviewed with Jim Oberg when I left college and sought work at Johnson
Space Center, worked there briefly (childhood dream comes true!), became a
friend of Jim, met Paul Maley and Gil Carman...  Sounds to good to be true,
but it happened!  Been fairly inactive the last few years, but interest is
returning.  Studied dynamics in grad school, still tinker with orbit
determination (angles only).

 I am also a ham radio operator (KA8ABR) active on OSCAR satellites when not
stuck living in apartments (where I am living now).  Have used radio to
listen to various satellites over the years (non ham).  Have equipment for
136-138 Mcs, 400 Mcs and some L-band.  Interested in  radio interferometry.
Nothing hooked up right now due to apartment constraints.

 Goals in visual tracking: 
        -Build computerized telescopic theodolite for orbit determination.
        -Provide data to the various tracking projects.
        -See some of the orbiting antiques that are still with us (Vangaurd  
         rocket bodies, Transit stages, etc.)

 Neat things I have seen over the years:
        -Echo II as a child
        -Skylab, many, many times!
        -Apollo-Soyuz while docked in '75
        -Launch of GOES 3 ('78) and STS-3 ('82)
        -STS 51A re-entry over San Antonio, Texas in November of '84 (Awesome!)
        -Geostationary transfer stages near perigee (from Texas... very fast!)
        -Salyut-7 two days before the end, low, fast and bright
        -Many high and low inclination STS flights, STS-63 and STS-71 included
        -Solar Max, LDEF, NOSS 2-1 (by accident... what a surprise!)

 Thanks for reading my laundry list, sorry it is a bit long!

Mike Murphy

Questions or comments??  MURPH@ERINET.COM

Other interests: Antique engines, flying, autogyros, heavy machine guns