Re: Saw Mir & STS-86
Sun, 28 Sep 1997 08:00:15 -0400 (EDT)

Jay Respler asked:

<< Which program are you using?  This QUICKSAT output shows Mir first: >>

I use STS Plus.  Now, I see the TLE's used were over 24 hours
old.  I can't remember where I found them or exactly when.  After
returning from the Delta II launch I was tired (excuses, excuses!) and
only got 2 hours sleep before getting up to see Mir & STS-86.  I guess
STS-86 had already gone around once or twice with the lower orbit.
So, it looks like my TLE's were totally invalid for STS-86 but okay for
Mir.  So, looks like I just lucked out seeing both in the sky.  However,
I did find out when they were to dock (12:55 PM PDT, Sat.) so just
assumed they would have to be fairly close about 7.5 hrs. before 
docking so some of it wasn't luck.  Now, I realize the importance
of getting the absolute freshest TLE for STS before docking with Mir.

For the record these are the TLE's I was using.  They had NORAD
numbers in the first line and I edited them out for my convenience.

1 16609U 86017A   97269.08791867  .00004578  00000-0  61148-4 0  6471
2 16609  51.6537 298.8033 0003833 164.6041 195.5025 15.60278275662771
STS 86                  
1 24964U 9755A    97269.27083333 -.00002225  10894-4  53012-5 0    22
2 24964  51.6551 298.0292 0060298  95.8874 143.5308 15.81221107    22

So, is my interpretation of what happened correct?

Mir-STS86-docked should be making a visible pass in about 1.25 hrs. 
around 13:05 UTC 28Sept97.

Jake Rees
Burbank, Calif., USA