Re: Instructions for Viewing ATEx Tether With Binoculars
Sun, 10 Jan 1999 20:51:51 EST

In a message dated 1/10/99 6:33:28 PM Eastern Standard Time,

>  have just completed calculating times and az/el look angles for viewing the
> ATEx tether after it is deployed on 14 Jan 99.  It's our hope that the upper
> and lower end masses and the tether itself will be viewable with binoculars.

Last month, STEX/ATEX was about a 6.5 mag (ref:

Hopefully it will be brighter than TiPS, which requires near-perfect
conditions in the Balt-Wash area for binocular viewing.

>  The NRO's Space Technology Satellite (STEX) is the host vehicle for the 
> Naval Research Lab's Advanced Tether Experiment (ATEx).  On 14 Jan 99, ATEx 
> will deploy and upper end mass on the end of a 6 kilometer tether.  Active 
> tether control experiments will commence for about 2 months, after which the
> tether will be jettisoned and remain in orbit.

Looking ahead a bit, the next decent pass for the Baltimore/Washington area is
mid-March.  This assumes no orbit adjustments.  Other than the tether control
experiments, are there any planned adjustments to the orbit?

Thank for posting the info.

Don Gardner
39.1796 N, 76.8419 W, 34m ASL