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Author Topic: Space Shuttle and International Space Station  (Read 7687 times)

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  • Mullion Cove, Kernow --- sw Cornwall UK.
Space Shuttle and International Space Station
« on: November 10, 2008, 08:30:18 PM »
I've just been reading reply no 5 by Tailwind in Speed Restricions, and was interested to see mention of the Shuttle and ISS, some very useful sites are: and for Shuttle launch info. including a Countdown clock and pictures
Living on the Lizard peninsula of SW Cornwall, next stop sw is Florida, America, some light pollution but minimal.    I've noticed that the Shuttle launches coincide with overhead w-e passes of the ISS, passing over Florida then up to the UK.    On 2 occasions when the sky has been clear, we've seen the Shuttle and the separated massive fuel tank pass over (approx. 21 - 22 minutes after Launch and the ISS overhead pass) on diverging routes.   The Shuttle's (referred to as STS - Space Transport System) passes after launch are very much faster than the ISS, (which maintains a more or less constant speed, but has to have its orbtal height increased every few weeks) as it is playing a game of "catch up", the Shuttle's pass time will be almost half that of the ISS.    To do this the Shuttle climbs a lot higher than the ISS then uses the earth's gravity to dive and get slingshot acceleration before decelerating at docking time.    I've calculated that if we should listen approx. 3 1/2 - 4 hours after launch, we may just hear something, if the wind is from the sw!

Next Shuttle launch is due at 1955 EST on November 14th (0055 on 15th Nov. UTC).
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Re: Space Shuttle and International Space Station
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2008, 12:24:31 PM »

Shuttle Endeavour (STS-126) plays catch-up as it coasts towards South America whilst the ISS has just entered orbital darkness over China at approx 1200hrs GMT today.

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