The last photo of Columbia: dummy's questions

From: Leonid Bashkirov (
Date: Fri Mar 14 2003 - 18:48:11 EST

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    Hello all subscribers,
    This  is  an  e-mail  from  a  man  absolutley  ignorant  of satellite
    observation  stuff  -  actually,  I'm  just  another sort of observer,
    namely a content-manager in 'Mactimes' online magazine, Russia (follow
    the  link in case you'd like practice in Russian). As well
    as  you  may  have already made sure, there's practically no chance to
    pitch  upon  either  imaging  or  watching satellites... however, this
    month  we've chanced on such an opportunity to hook a splendid article
    mixed  up  with  from-the-ground  space imaging as well as our beloved
    Well,  I  mean  the shuttle Columbia last photo made by three officers
    from Starfire Optical Range (SOR) - all you have surely read that news
    stuff  concerning  amateur  3.5  inch  Questar  telescope  and  1992's
    Macintosh  oldie.  In  order  to get additional details regarding this
    fascintating (from the Ma” addict's point of view) plot I've contacted
    the  office of public affairs (Air Force Research Lab at Kirtland, NM)
    and  put  over  them  a  number  of questions via e-mail. Luckily, the
    office staff kindly met me halfway, so I recieved a portion of answers
    within a couple of weeks (actually, it's appeared too difficult to get
    to  three mentioned officers). Here those answers are, I'm citing them
    Q: Exact model of that ancient Macintosh?
    A: Quadra 950.
    Q: How did you manage to interlock your Mac and telescope?
    A: Boilt-in serial port.
    Q: Programming lanaguage and developer tools for satellite tracking
    A: Language/development evironment - ThinkC.
    And  that  was all - too briefly and too large. "There are limitations
    on  the  amount  of information we can release about our research... I
    apologize  if  the  responses  seem  too brief", as press-office said.
    What's to be done, however...
    Anyway,  maybe  you will probably help me to answer the key question -
    what's  the  role  of the mentioned Macintosh in this story? How those
    officers managed to get an image of unhappy distressful Columbia using
    Apple   oldie,   amateur   optical   telescope   and   slightly   dark
    'satellite-tracking  mirror array'? Could anyone explain my this stuff
    in  a  nutshell?  Actually,  I'd  be more than obliged for such a kin◊
    Thankful in advance,
    Leonid G. Bashkirov,
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