Friday, September 23, 2011

Tracking Error

God this heat wave is playin' hell with my sleep this week! I was up trying to fall asleep until 2AM last night. Thank God for streaming internet radio! I found a stream of the Dennis Miller Show, and while I was too hot to sleep, I wasn't to hot to laugh out loud!

My alarm aroused me at 0600 and I tuned in the Armstrong and Getty Show...I faded quickly and rejoined the conscious listeners around 0800.With a start,I remembered that the UARS satellite was set to reenter any hour now,so I hit the 'net for the latest intel.

It seems that the satellite is slightly confounding the tracking people. After some high solar activity last week,the Sun has settled down enough to allow the Earth's upper atmosphere to contract enough to allow UARS a few more orbits before the inevitable.

Tracking maps I've seen show some debris tracks over the United States! NASA says the final orbit will now be late Friday or early Saturday EDT. Depending on which orbit is the last one, the debris field could be near New Orleans, across San Diego, with the debris field stretching into  Southern Nevada, and Arizona, or a few hundred miles offshore from Oregon.

I've spent a couple of hours trying to download the latest tracks and images,but all the tracking websites are overloaded now. Still standing is Spaceflight Now's UARS tracking page.

I found a twitter feed from @UARS_Reentry. They say four more orbits with reentry between 7:55PM PDT and 8:20PM PDT which puts it on the United States West Coast. It looks like off the Oregon coast.

KirkVallus, got a hard hat?

3:30PM PDT Update

It looks like splash-down will be off the Washington State coast, still in the 7:55-8:20PM PDT window.

No comments:

Post a Comment