Soyuz-Fregat VS12; Insertion burn visible from Northern Europe

From: C. Bassa via Seesat-l <seesat-l_at_satobs.org>
Date: Thu, 10 Sep 2015 11:30:12 +0200
A Soyuz is scheduled to launch at 2015-09-11T02:08:10 from Guiana
and will put two Galileo satellites in orbit. The insertion of
the payload into the transfer orbit may be visible from Europe.

The VS12 launch
kit (http://www.arianespace.com/images/launch-kits/launch-kit-pdf-eng/VS12_Launch-kit_GB.pdf)
reports that the Fregat upper stage will shut-down at 23m32s
after launch. This is essentially identical to the shut-down
reported for the VS03
launch (http://www.arianespace.com/images/launch-kits/launch-kit-pdf-eng/VS03-GALILEO-FM3-FM4-GB.pdf),
for which JSpOC has orbital elements of Galileo-FM3
[38857/12055A] while in the 20x23250_at_56deg transfer orbit.

Adjusting those elements for the launch time of VS12 yields these
elements for the transfer orbit.
1 84001U 14900A   15254.15045429  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0    07
2 84001  55.9763 327.1061 6365096  57.0615  62.9644  3.56407484    01

This orbit predicts a shadow exit at 02:30:05UT when the payload
is above the border between Germany and Denmark. At this time the
Fregat is still in powered flight. The insertion burn is
predicted to and at 02:31:32UT.

It is unclear what visual effects the burn and the shutdown may
have, but observers in Northern Europe are well placed to observe
what ever may be visible.

Regards,
   Cees
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Received on Thu Sep 10 2015 - 04:30:54 UTC

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