ICO visibility? (and launch details)

From: Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Date: Fri Mar 10 2000 - 22:21:16 PST

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    I'm wondering what the visibility of the ICO satellites will be.  The 
    first one is to be launched Sunday (one of three launches on the same 
    day UTC).  The information available is that they will be in 10,390 km 
    (circular?), 45-degree inclination orbits with six-hour orbital period.  
    The payloads are HS601, like a lot of geostationary communications 
    satellites, including Orion 3 (which of course didn't make it to the
    planned orbit).
    From the detailed information on the launch, it appears that there will 
    be a two-minute engine burn (stage 3, burn 2, or MES 2) beginning over 
    northeast Egypt or the north end of the Red Sea at about 16:46:19 UTC 
    on March 12; I believe that would be in darkness.  Perhaps that burn 
    might be visible at least from Egypt, Israel, and Jordan if not farther 
    away.  Several hours later the page lists "Stage 3 transfer to disposal 
    orbit complete".  They have a timeline, an illustration of the launch 
    phases, and a map of the launch track and events.  This is a very
    informative Web site regarding a launch!
    Sea Launch:
    ICO F-1
    Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA
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