Reference Book for VSO computation?

From: Alec Muffett (
Date: Fri Jan 07 2000 - 15:57:32 PST

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    I want to try my hand at writing some (Linux Java) satellite
    prediction software, with an eye towards telescope control once the
    bugs start to get threshed out.
    I'm not afraid of the mathematics as I used to do naked-eye VSO in my
    teens back in the early 80s, but back then I was only armed with
    Duffett-Smith's "Practical Astronomy with Your Calculator" - and
    didn't have a PC to hand when he released the "With Your Personal
    Computer" version of the book.
    Now that I am getting back into the subject, and have oodles of CPU at
    my disposal, given that what I am asking requires a high degree of
    precision, I was wondering:
    1) Can someone please tell me what the favoured reference manual for
       satellite prediction algorithms is nowadays?  I see that Jean Meeus
       has one "Astronomical Algorithms" book, and of course there is always
       Duffett-Smith, but I was wondering what people actually *use* ?
    ...and on a sideways note:
    2) When's Mir currently due to decay?
    Thanks in advance, if you can please help.
    	- alec
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