Re: Shuttle Reentry Observations

From: Rick Baldridge (
Date: Sun Feb 02 2003 - 13:01:35 EST

  • Next message: Rick Baldridge: "STS-107 from Mt. Hamilton pictures posted"

    I have seen, photographed and video taped four Shuttle re-entries over
    California, starting with STS-63.  A photo of the re-entry of STS-73 is
    posted at:
    (If you have trouble with this long link, go to  and click on "Astronomy Stuff" album,
    and then the second picture.  The Yahoo page was down a few days ago but is
    working again.)
    Believe me, NONE of them show even the slightest indication of brightenings
    in the trail or small pieces coming off.
    Yesterday was a bad day for me (and all of us.)  I video-taped the re-entry
    for Mt. Hamilton, CA and took two photos.  Naked-eye, we didn't notice
    anything too unusual, but I was spending most of my time looking through the
    video camera viewfinder.  We thought we had just seen another spectacular
    NORMAL re-entry.  Only an hour later when I got home did I learn of the
    tragedy that occurred minutes after we saw the Shuttle go by.
    When I looked at my video, there were very fain but definite pieces coming
    off, with the first piece seen on the video at 5:53:45am PST +/- 1 second.
    A had made a time-hack as I always do to obtain timings, and this hack was
    synchronized to WWV.  As far as I know at this time, I was the furthest west
    observer on the re-entry track to get a video.
    NASA has been given a copy of the tape.  They may want the master of course
    to analyze further.  I also took two still photos, one through a 16mm lens
    that shows the entire visible trace of the Shuttle and BOTH photos show
    definite brightenings in the trail that corresponde to brightenings the
    video shows.  Again, I have NEVER seen this activity before STS-107.  The
    photos will be scanned today and posted, after I get a copy to NASA.
    Bless the families and friends of the Columbia Crew.
    Rick Baldridge
    Campbell, CA
    ----- Original Message -----
    From: "David Anderman" <>
    To: <>
    Sent: Saturday, February 01, 2003 10:05 PM
    Subject: Re: Shuttle Reentry Observations
    > Before reading too much into these observations of the Shuttle re-
    > entry over California, it would be useful to have imagery of prior
    > re-
    > entries as a reference. Perhaps all of these prior images will also
    > show sparks over California.
    > DWA
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