Early opportunities for 26 Sept Iridium launch

3432P@VM1.CC.NPS.NAVY.MIL
Wed, 17 Sep 97 19:00:36 PDT

If the next Iridium launch from Vandenburg lifts off as scheduled
at 26 Sep 97, 01:29:12 UT, then according to Ron Lee's prelaunch
elset it looks like it will stay entirely sunlit for many of the
the initial orbits.  The path follows the termintor very, very
closely;  So closely that I don't think anyone will see it front-lit.
I think the only visible passes will be relatively low and back-lit
(morning passes will be in the east, evening passes will be in the
west).

E. Europe gets a morning pass about 1h 15m after launch.

The extreme western edge of Canada and the U.S. will have a very low
evening pass in the west about 1h 30m after launch.  I think
the Iridiums usually begin detaching from the uppermost stage at
about that time.   That pass culminates at only 7 degrees for my
location on the central California coast.

W. Europe will have a morning pass at launch +2h 50m.

The Eastern US & Canada get their first chance about 7h 40m after
launch, with a low morning pass.

Japan will have a morning pass at around launch +8h.

Central Australia will have an evening pass about 8h 25m after
launch.

The midwest US & Canada will have a morning pass about 9h 15m
after launch.

The western US & Canada will have a morning pass about 11h after
launch.

 Craig Cholar    3432P@VM1.CC.NPS.NAVY.MIL
 Marina, California
 36 41 10.3N,  121 48 17.9W    (36.6862, -121.8050)      UTC -7