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View Full Version : East Coast light show: Watch for shuttle launch Sunday night



rbgarr
02-05-2010, 04:04 PM
Hoping for a clear night here.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35259167/ns/technology_and_science-space/

Krunch
02-05-2010, 04:57 PM
We get to see rockets fairly regularly in the summer here at Wallops, though they're nowhere near as big as the shuttle. Pretty cool to see.

They had to blow one up last summer (I think) because its trajectory went off. Apparently a pretty high level experiment was on it, some kind of hypersonic scramjet vehicle thing (HyBoLT or something, they say it will "skip" off the upper atmosphere like a stone on a pond at Mach 6 or 8 IIRC)...anyway, I'm on their email list so I'll know not to fish on the range...they said not to touch the Martians if we found them offshore. :D

huisjen
02-05-2010, 06:07 PM
How far above our horizon will it be at main engine cut-off? We're right at the edge of the viewing circle.

Dan

huisjen
02-05-2010, 06:36 PM
You are just so full of sweetness and light. It warms the cockles of my heart.

I'm not sure why I have heart snails, but at least they're warm.

Dan

Bob Adams
02-05-2010, 07:02 PM
I was supposed to see this REAL close, but the @#%$&*!! snow has BWI closed prolly until Sunday. My flight is cancelled and I will get there way too late. I saw one of these shots many yeas ago, got up in the middle of the night for it. In Baltimore you could actually make out three individual points of light that were the main engines. The was no sound. Neat.

ron ll
02-05-2010, 08:56 PM
Isn't it Saturday night? Early Sunday Morning? My schedule shows it Feb 7th (Sunday) at 4:39 am EST.

But they change those schedules a lot.

ishmael
02-05-2010, 09:42 PM
Not too many launches of that buggy left.

This international effort at space seems to be sputtering. The ISS is up there somewhere, the crew sprouting seeds and doing other experiments in zero G. Obama wants to nix further American manned missions. It was supposed, in its original incarnation, to be a stepping stone to Mars. I guess I won't be booking tickets soon.

I do think human imagination, our moving into space is a good thing. Better than trying to kill each other. Breakthroughs in the areas of power and propulsion may be in the offing. Even if we don't do a moon landing redux right away, let's keep working at the questions. If for no other reason because it's beautiful.

Robbie 2
02-05-2010, 10:39 PM
[QUOTE=ishmael;2481333]Not too many launches of that buggy left.

This international effort at space seems to be sputtering. The ISS is up there somewhere, the crew sprouting seeds and doing other experiments in zero G. Obama wants to nix further American manned missions. It was supposed, in its original incarnation, to be a stepping stone to Mars. I guess I won't be booking tickets soon.

If NASA cans the new rocket program (manned) how do they intend to send new American crew up to the ISS?
Stand by the Russian, Chinese or Iranian launch pads with your thumb out?

ishmael
02-06-2010, 12:05 AM
Good questions. When the shuttle is retired we, Americans, won't have a heavy lift space vehicle. When Apollo was done going to the moon, the idiot senator from Wisconsin, William Proxmire demanded that all the tooling for the Saturn rocket be dismantled, destroyed. And so it was. It's a bit hard to get a stomach around, but the biggest rocket ever was no more. Idiot.

I've told it before, but Werner Von Braun, one of the fathers of modern rocketry wept, openly, when that passed our senate. Why, why, why?

Krunch
02-06-2010, 12:36 AM
I watched these two burns last year. They were pretty impressive, especially the second one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEf9trI1Hf8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lb45uBaj2Mc

Robbie 2
02-06-2010, 05:15 AM
I have been watching and been a fan of NASA's Space programme since a kid in the early 60's..............if you must, then can the "return to the moon" part, but I think it will turn out to be a serious misjudgement and mistake for The USA to NOT HAVE a vehicle capable of carrying men/women into space. The USA is committed to the ISS and to not be able to get there without bumming a ride with someone else will put you in the position of the poor country cousins of those with whom you do go. You will have to fit in with their schedule etc and may only be allocated seats when and if available. Will they put Americans on the trip and take their own people off?
This will see NASA falling more and more behind technologically and the costs of catching back up if that were even possible horrendous.
The Hubble telescope is another example where great scientific advances have been made BUT how many times have NASA made trips to repair or service Hubble? What will NASA do the next time this required?
I am saddened if this is truly the future for NASA and The USA.

marshcat
02-06-2010, 05:50 AM
How far above our horizon will it be at main engine cut-off? We're right at the edge of the viewing circle.

Dan

It will be right on the horizon. From an article about an earlier night launch (they all follow basically the same path):

"For most viewers, the shuttle will appear to literally skim the horizon, so be sure there are no buildings or trees to obstruct your view.



Depending upon your distance from the coastline, the shuttle will be relatively low on the horizon (5 to 15 degrees; your fist on an outstretched arm covers about 10 degrees of sky). If you're positioned near the edge of a viewing circle, the shuttle will barely come above the horizon and could be obscured by low clouds or haze."

For me in central Virginia, the last one was right in the tree tops.

Don't forget also to look southeast and not due east. For some reason the first time I watched I was thinking "over the ocean, due east", but luckily it caught my eye in the southeast. If you are used to looking at the sky at night, there is really no mistaking it for something else.

It is 04:39:44 Sunday morning, not Monday morning.

Fitz
02-06-2010, 07:41 AM
We saw it here in Concord one time - about 8 mins or so after launch, low in the SE. You could see the flickering engines. The massive contrail/exhaust also was quite obvious.

marshcat
02-07-2010, 06:19 AM
Launch was scrubbed due to weather. They will try again tomorrow (Mon 2/8) at 4:14 AM EST. Too bad - viewing conditions up here were almost perfect. The moon was a bit bright, but would not have caused a problem.

Krunch
02-07-2010, 08:00 AM
I reckon that depends upon the size of your fist and the length of your arm, eh, Pilgrim?

Less than you might think...longer arm, bigger fist.

marshcat
02-07-2010, 08:33 AM
I watched these two burns last year.

Is there a public source for the Wallop's Island launch schedule, or do you have to be in the business? Also, do you know how far inland they are visible (ie from Richmond?)?

Krunch
02-07-2010, 09:12 AM
Is there a public source for the Wallop's Island launch schedule, or do you have to be in the business? Also, do you know how far inland they are visible (ie from Richmond?)?

You can get to a schedule at:

http://sched.wff.nasa.gov/wffsched/

but it's probably more information than you want or need.

Probably the easiest thing to do is to sign up for their email list. They send out bulk emails to fishermen to announce launches and give the coordinates/dimensions of the range to be cleared for each particular launch. The guy who sends the emails is

keith.a.koehler@nasa.gov

You could probably just drop him an email and ask to be added to the list. I suspect you could see some of the larger launches from Richmond.

To get an azimuth for what direction to look from Richmond, go here:

http://www.fcc.gov/mb/audio/bickel/distance.html

(Add 11 W variation to get magnetic.)

The coordinates for WFF are roughly 37.94N 75.47W

SMARTINSEN
02-07-2010, 09:24 AM
Thanks for that, Krunch.

Krunch
02-07-2010, 09:42 AM
If you're ever down here and want to watch a launch, the best place (outside of WFF) is here (http://maps.google.com/?q=Atlantic,+VA&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Atlantic,+Accomack,+Virginia&ll=37.84738,-75.51282&spn=0.001991,0.003162&z=19).

Sorry for the slight thread hijack, rbgarr.

rbgarr
02-07-2010, 12:15 PM
I got up to watch but the launch was postponed.

Russ Manheimer
02-07-2010, 01:56 PM
Tomorrow morning we'll all be up at 4:i4 anyway to watch the first race in Valencia.

Krunch
02-08-2010, 04:24 AM
Cool! I saw it! That thing was BOOKING...

marshcat
02-08-2010, 05:44 AM
I missed it! I stayed up later than usual watching the game, and did not get up until 4:45.

Thanks Krunch for the Wallop's info.