Friday, January 13, 2012

Phobos/Grunt Watch The Waiting Begins

Three days and counting. This is the beginning of the end...and the beginning of the time when the waiting gets harder and harder...think "The Watched Pot..."

Spaceflight 101 launched their "Phobos Grunt Entry Blog" Their maiden voyage entry says: "Satellite Trackers and Amateur Observers might be essential in pin-pointing Phobos-Grunt's Re-Entry Time and Location"...

That's us people!

Spaceflight 101's blog links their own tutorial: "Observe Phobos-Grunt" It's good advice on how to see Phobos/Grunt in orbit, and if the stars witness it's fiery reentry.

After several tries in the past month, most featuring problematic "seeing" due to big moons or cloud cover, I finally caught a Phobos/Grunt pass overhead. Even at Mag 1.3 near morning twilight, the spacecraft was easy to find as it passed overhead.

According to Heavens-Above, I get a shot at one of the predicted final orbits in the evenings of January 14, 16, and 17 Given the latest predictions, that's lookin' like one shot...the 14th!

Heavens-Above Note:
While composing this blog, I found a new quirk on Heavens-Above. Be sure to click on Type of passes to include: ALL when you're searching a satellite. I did and found a visible pass just two hours from now! It wasn't listed in the Visible results...there that's my "Learn Something Every Day" requirement for today!

European Space Agency Coordinates International Satellite Reentry Campaign for Phobos/Grunt

Stay tuned, and Good Luck Phobos/Grunt Watchers!


  1. I remember viewing Sputnik as a kid in Minnesota. Can't remember the season, probably summer. I also remember the Sputnik bubble gum. Yum.

    Good luck with your observation.

  2. I jumped up, pulled on some clothes and with compass in hand hit the front joy, the NNE sky totally obscured by trees...I didn't want to drive...I wanted to sleep...not drive. I got another hour and a half total...still I had "eye trouble" at work...

    1. I know what you mean. I need to find an observaion sight free of trees and other objects taller than eye. Looks like cloud cover will prevent my viewing.