re: shuttle entry predictions

Richard Clark (rclark@LPL.Arizona.EDU)
Sun, 7 Dec 97 02:10:07 MST

Sue Worden wrote:

>I would appreciate any pointers to online or printed information
>about how a shuttle reentry profile is (pre)determined/estimated.

So would I!

The best online description of the entry process is from the 'operations
manual' at the Shuttle Web page at JSC. One or both of these links may
still be current.

>From STS Homepage:
>From KSC Homepage:

They won't tell you all you are looking for, but they have a fairly nice
qualitative description.

The Shuttle page posts their viewing predictions for selected cities from
1-3 days prior to entry. On a few occasions a couple of years ago entry
predictions in the form of tables of lat/lon/height/time were posted on but I haven't seen one of these in a long time. One of
these was posted about a week before the end of mission. I have no idea
how close it was to the actual entry flown. (I think the times were
relative to the entry burn)

On this last flight the approach direction was changed but the new
predictions were posted several hours before entry. It resulted in the
first turn being a right instead of a left and much less favorable for
viewers in the US. I have heard that on an earlier mission this change
between runway approaches 33/03 occurred after the entry burn was made.
I don't know when it was relative to entry interface.

There also are tables of mission statistics (in PDF format) out there. I
believe they are reachable from the KSC webpage although I don't have the
link handy. These include a table of some entry dynamics parameters. Still
not what you are looking for but kind of interesting anyway.

Several times I've sent questions to contacts on the Shuttle sightings
webpage but I've never been able to figure out the magic word to get
a useful answer (or maybe I just haven't found the right contact).
Hay Phill, any chance you can uncover some of this info through your

Richard Clark