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Discussion Starter #1
The next shuttle launch is set for tomorrow. It will probably dock with the space station either Thursday or Friday. Before it docks you may have the opportunity to see both pass overhead with the shuttle trailing the space station. Here is a site that will give you detailed viewing information for your city.

http://spaceflight1.nasa.gov/realdata/sightings/cities/skywatch.cgi?country=United+States

The space station appears almost as bright as Venus and moves across the sky at about the same speed as an aircraft except it doesn't have any flashing lights. The shuttle is a little dimmer.
The sightings always occur either just after sunset or just before sunrise. That is when the station is reflecting sunlight against your still dark sky.

The viewing times and angles are very accurate for your city so you can stake out a good place to see that part of the sky in advance.
 

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That's cool. I have been to 2 launches. It was really neat. The night launch was the coolest. When the shuttle would land at Cape Canaveral you could hear the sonic boom when it landed.
 

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What took me forever to figure out (I'm not a rocket scientist) is how it would pass over going from the northwest to the southeast one night and then the next night it would pass going from the south to the northeast.
I found out it orbits at a 51 degree incline to the equator. You have to hold a ball up and then turning the ball like the earth rotation and imagining the orbit plane you can see how this happens.
 

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What took me forever to figure out (I'm not a rocket scientist) is how it would pass over going from the northwest to the southeast one night and then the next night it would pass going from the south to the northeast.
I found out it orbits at a 51 degree incline to the equator. You have to hold a ball up and then turning the ball like the earth rotation and imagining the orbit plane you can see how this happens.
I still don't get it from your explanation. LOL
 

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I still don't get it from your explanation. LOL
See if this helps. In the drawing the red line is the shuttle's orbit and your city is the yellow dot. The equator is the black line.
Now the shuttle would be passing over your town from the southwest heading to the northeast. 12 hours later your city would be on the opposite side and the shuttle would be passing from the northeast to the southwest.
 

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Canada is not listed there. :(

We did see Venus last week! IT was so bright. My kids loved it.
 

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Very cool! Looks like I will have to get up around 5:15 tomorrow morning to see it! Hmm...maybe I will wait until one that is a little later...
 

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I'll never see it. It passes over here around 15:30 :(

Can someone in NASA please slow it down by about 12 hours so us people in the southern hemisphere get to see it? Thanks. :)
 

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Can someone in NASA please slow it down by about 12 hours so us people in the southern hemisphere get to see it? Thanks.
Where are you located? I just checked several of the countries in the southern hemisphere and there are multiple viewing times. That said, there are stretches where it is not visable here in Houston for days at a time.

Right now the viewing site is listing both the shuttle and the space station. It looks like here in Houston I may be able to see both Friday night at 7:56. If they have not already docked the shuttle will be visable trailing the station.
 

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http://spaceflight1.nasa.gov/realda...egion.cgi?country=Australia&region=Queensland

OK, So you have to get up a bit early down there.
I bet you have a much clearer sky that we do in Houston. Light polution here is so intense we're lucky to see a full moon.
That's a different page to what I found the 1st time. Heck it's around 4.30am, I'll probably still be up. :)

Slightly off topic, but yes we do have a good night view when the weather's clear. This is a good example from last Dec when the moon, venus & mars formed a smiley face. :)

 

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The shuttle program was not as unfortunate system as it is considered to be. In the eighties, the Shuttle put 40% of the entire mass of the launch vehicle delivered in that decade into low-Earth orbit, despite the fact that its launches accounted for only 4% of the total number of launches of the ILV.
 

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I always thought that the shuttle program was closed because of those disasters, but it was financial problems that became the main reason for the closure of the shuttle program.
 
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