Re: Shenzhou 5 - preliminary search elements and visibility

From: HSHK (hshk@ix.netcom.com)
Date: Thu Oct 09 2003 - 07:17:42 EDT

  • Next message: Ted Molczan: "TJM obs of 2003 Oct 09 UTC"

    My understanding is the flight is to be a one-orbit
    90-minute flight. 
    
    Am I mis-informed ?
    
    Thanks,
    
    Bill
    
    -------Original Message-------
     
    From: Ted Molczan
    Date: Wednesday, October 08, 2003 20:30:30
    To: SeeSat-L
    Subject: Shenzhou 5 - preliminary search elements and visibility
     
    It has been brought to my attention that British press is reporting that the
    Chinese travel agency that is booking viewers to the launch is telling
    customers
    that lift-off will be Oct 15 at 8:00 AM Beijing Time.
     
    The real launch time may well be different, so the following information is
    preliminary.
     
     
    1. Search Elements
     
    China has only one time zone, which is 8 h ahead of UTC, so launch at 8 AM
    equals 0 h UTC - about 33 min after sunrise on Oct 15. All four unpiloted
    test
    flights were launched at night, but it makes intuitive sense to launch a
    crew in
    daylight whenever possible.
     
    Assuming the same launch profile and orbit circularization burn as Shenzhou
    4,
    the following elements should be accurate to within a minute or two, based
    upon
    launch on 2003 Oct 15 at 0 h UTC:
     
     
    1.1 Elliptical Parking Orbit until MET 06 h 50 m
     
    The spacecraft will be inserted into approximately a 207 km x 340 km parking
    orbit, where it will remain until nearly 7 h after launch. The following
    orbit
    is based upon the launch vehicle's final stage, which should be a close
    approximation of the spacecraft's orbit:
     
    Shenzhou 5 7.8 2.5 0.0 5.4 d
    1 70000U 03288.63420693 .00788058 82648-5 58603-3 0 31
    2 70000 42.4069 11.1671 0099929 134.5463 16.8336 16.04205144 100
     
    My guess is that the spacecraft will trail a short distance behind the
    rocket
    during this period.
     
     
    1.2 Circularized Orbit after MET 06 h 50 m
     
    The spacecraft will circularize its orbit as it passes through apogee for
    the
    5th time, about 7 h after launch, whereupon it will be in this orbit:
     
    Shenzhou 5 7.8 2.5 0.0 5.4 d
    1 70001U 03288.63534262 .00036000 00000-0 19749-3 0 16
    2 70001 42.4080 11.2380 0004797 163.8920 321.6647 15.78791273 109
     
     
    2. Visibility Latitudes
     
    The visibility latitudes are strongly dependent upon launch time, assumed to
    be
    0 h UTC in this case.
     
     
    2.1 Northern Hemisphere
     
    The spacecraft and its rocket body will be visible in morning twilight
    between
    approximately latitude 35 deg N and 45 deg N, with the best passes near the
    middle of the range.
     
    On launch day, observers in Europe and longitudes to the east will see the
    spacecraft while still in its elliptical parking orbit. The perigee will be
    in
    the northern hemisphere, so passes will be little more than 200 km altitude.
     
    By the time North America's east coast rotates under the orbit, the
    spacecraft
    will have circularized its orbit.
     
     
    2.2 Southern Hemisphere
     
    The spacecraft and its rocket body will be visible in evening twilight
    between
    approximately latitude 32 deg S and 45 deg S, with the best passes near the
    middle of the range.
     
     
    I plan to update this information soon after the launch time has been
    announced.
     
    Ted Molczan
     
    
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