Re: GRACE 1 and 2

From: Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Date: Sun Mar 30 2003 - 15:52:04 EST

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    To add to Robert Fenske's report, I have approximate
    brightest magnitude (about +2) times for GRACE 1 and 
    2 for the last two nights, for Austin (30.3N, 97.8W):
    
    March 29 UTC:  1 - 2:45:04.0 and 2 - 2:45:32.0
    March 30 UTC:  1 - 2:19:41.5 and 2 - 2:20:08.0
    
    Here are some PPAS reports:
    
    Nadezhda 7 Rk (27535) --
    02-046 B 03-03-29 02:14:42.5 EC  103.6 0.5  11  9.41  
    
    GPS 2-22 Rk2 (22781, a PKM) --
    93-054 C 03-03-29 02:39:44.0 EC   31.0 0.5   3 10.3  
    
    Fleetsatcom 1 Rk (12908), low, fast, and very bright 
    over south Texas --
    78-016 C 03-03-30 01:46:17.0 EC   99.4 0.3   9 11.04  +1.0
    
    I tried timing NOAA 13 (93-050A, 22739) last night, but
    the times were, as Mike McCants says, "random numbers".
    Feng Yun 1 Rk (88-080B, 19468) maybe was not much better,
    maybe about 42 seconds overall.
    
    There was some updated information on ICESat on the 
    newsgroup:
    
    >Power to the laser was off on 3/29 and can be expected 
    >to be intermittent until the satellite has completed 
    >its commissioning and calibration phase.  I will post 
    >announcements here when the altimeter is on and can be 
    >expected to remain on for an extended period.
    <...> 
    >For ICESat's calibration period the satellite has been 
    >placed in an 8 day repeat orbit with an orbit maintenance 
    >goal of keeping the satellite within plus or minus 800 
    >meters of a fixed ground track.  The calibration phase 
    >could be several months long so predictions of the ground 
    >track can be made well in advance.  This should also hold
    >true when the mission goes operational and the satellite 
    >is put into a 183 day repeat orbit although precise pass 
    >timing may be difficult to predict ahead.
    
    Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA
    
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