Re: STS-91

Mir16609 (
Mon, 27 Apr 1998 08:36:55 EDT

In a message dated 4/27/98 5:31:37 AM EST, writes:

> This is the first Shuttle/Mir docking that I will have a chance to see. I
>  know its probably the last as well.
>  Is it posible that someone could produce some estimated prelaunch elesets
>  for me?
>  My local newspaper have found out that 'I know about these things' and
>  asked me to write an article.
>  Any other related information would be welcome, perhaps direct to me rather
>  than seesat.

Unless you'd like to see the OMS burn you might as well forget about the
prelaunch elsets and pay close attention to the launch time and
docking/undocking times.   The pattern for the Mir dockings seems to be that
the Shuttle launches about 20 minutes after the Mir makes a norhtbound pass
over the KSC.  Within  8 hours of launch it trails the Mir by about 15
minutes.   It will gradulally close the gap until docking - about 2 days after
launch.  When the Shuttle undocks it will pull into a somewhat lower orbit and
will lead the Mir.  Four hours after an undocking in late September, 1997 I
observed the Shuttle leading the Mir by about 8 degrees of arc.  Many SeeSat-L
members posted their observations - check the Sept. 1997 archieves.   By re-
entry (1.5 - 2 days after undocking) it will lead the Mir by about 20 minutes.

I suppose that my point in all of this is that if you find the Mir, you've
found the Shuttle.   Making advance predictions of visible Mir passes for you
area now and comparing them with the STS-91 flight schedule will give you a
pretty good idea what you will see during the mission.

Good Luck.
Don Gardner
39.1796 N; 76.8419 W;  34m ASL