Re: [ikluft <at> thunder.sbay.org: [SAT-L] shuttle disaster]
Doug Jones <djones <at> xcor.com>
2003-02-01 18:49:49 GMT
Henry Spencer wrote:
> On Sat, 1 Feb 2003, Pierce Nichols wrote:
>> If they were at 200,000 feet, wouldn't that be at the tail of the
>>blackout period, or shortly afterwards?
> There is no blackout period for the shuttle. Thanks to having relay
> satellites looking down from above, communications are continuous
> throughout reentry.
> Henry Spencer
> henry <at> spsystems.net
I watched the reentry from Mojave, CA at about 0553 this morning.
Although there was some light haze (clearly visible when viewing Venus
and Jupiter with 10x50 binoculars while waiting for the event), I was
able to see an orange dot leaving a glowing trail behind it. At about
the time of closest approach (about 220 miles, I believe) the brightness
flared for an instant and a small speck came away from the main body,
drifting backwards relative to it. Over about ten seconds, it dimmed
and went out, then perhaps thirty seconds later the shuttle flared again
but no debris was visible. It appeared intact until I lost in the dawn
glow a minute later.
This may have been the first direct element in the chain of events. The
temetry and voice recordings will, with luck, tell a more complete tale.
It's a grim test case, but this is another data point for Ec