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-   -   Heads Up: Shuttle Discovery and the ISS. (https://www.pprune.org/spectators-balcony-spotters-corner/443989-heads-up-shuttle-discovery-iss.html)

Georgeablelovehowindia 26th Feb 2011 16:48

Heads Up: Shuttle Discovery and the ISS.
With skies clearing over the UK this evening, the Shuttle 'Discovery' on its final mission and the ISS will appear out of the south-west at 18:36. They should be very close to joining up! More info: Esa


Blink182 26th Feb 2011 17:39

Got a glimpse of the ISS......... hopefully the sky will be clearer in 90 mins

Akrotiri bad boy 26th Feb 2011 17:41


It's just passed over Plymouth, clearly visible.:ok:

arem 26th Feb 2011 17:50

Magnificent sight as it passes over Wokingham

Georgeablelovehowindia 26th Feb 2011 17:55

Not such a bright pass next time round, better again tomorrow night. We thought we could make out two distinct shapes with the shuttle leading. (That was before we opened this excellent bottle of Les Sommets de Rasteau 2006 by the way!)


treadigraph 26th Feb 2011 19:23

Blast, I was watching the rugby. Still, always tomorrow!

Tupperware Pilot 27th Feb 2011 05:37

Yes the rugby was much more important;) Com on England!
Satellite Predictions Passes for STS 133 2011-008A NORAD 37371
Give's tonights pass's

Dubaian 27th Feb 2011 06:51

This site is good for ISS predictions + lots of others.
Heavens-Above Home Page

throw a dyce 27th Feb 2011 08:21

Saw Discovery and the ISS last night from Aberdeenshire.Right on time at 1838 from the Southwest,but at this latitude it was just one spot of light.There should be a good sighting tonight at 1903.
Come on Scotland.:ok:

magpienja 27th Feb 2011 13:58

I wonder...is it possible to receive radio transmissions from the shuttle on a wide band scanner when its line of sight.


HEATHROW DIRECTOR 27th Feb 2011 14:04

Receiving transmissions from spacecraft is, apparently, quite easy although I have not tried it myself. Sophisticated antennas are not necessary and signals should be very loud on a handheld scanner when ISS is overhead.

A number of astronauts are active radio amateurs and there is a ham station aboard ISS which many hams on earth have made contact with.

treadigraph 27th Feb 2011 14:19

After a pleasant morning it has been raining steadily for the last hour here in Purley. Hope that the clearer skies forecast earlier show up - apart from a chance to see the ISS and Discovery again, I'd quite like to walk off my lunch!

BOAC 27th Feb 2011 16:54

Has an orbital boost been done for the ISS and if so how please?

Akrotiri bad boy 27th Feb 2011 18:08

Bang on time overhead Plymouth. Very shaky through the bino's but I'd say the Shuttle was pushing the ISS.

Tupperware Pilot 27th Feb 2011 18:10

Cloud cleared just in time here in Oxford......did not have camera set up! Will do tomm night

Suzeman 27th Feb 2011 19:32


The sites below will give you sighting opprtunities and real time tracking

Human Space Flight (HSF) - Realtime Data

Human Space Flight (HSF) - Orbital Tracking

Below are the pass times for the next few days - shown are for BHX but will be approx the same for anywhere in the UK although the elevation in the sky will vary - more if you are S of BHX and less if you are North. And it will be on time!

In the first example for Feb 28th, duration of pass is 1 minute with a max elevation in the sky of 76 degrees, coming in to view 32 degrees above West and going out at 72 above SE. In this case it will disappear into the earth's shadow almost in the overhead - quite scary as it goes from a brilliant object to invisible in just a couple of seconds.

Think Discovery is attached until approx 07 March early doors if all goes to plan

Good luck with the sightings


ISSMon Feb 28/07:29 PM 1 76 32 above W 72 above SE
ISSTue Mar 01/06:21 PM 3 71 41 above WSW 16 above E
ISSTue Mar 01/07:55 PM <1 39 25 above W 39 above WSW
ISSWed Mar 02/06:47 PM 3 76 42 above W 16 above E
ISSWed Mar 02/08:21 PM <1 18 15 above W 18 above W
ISSThu Mar 03/07:12 PM 2 59 31 above W 30 above SE
ISSFri Mar 04/07:38 PM 2 34 22 above WSW 33 above S
ISSSat Mar 05/06:29 PM 3 56 38 above WSW 15 above ESE
ISSSat Mar 05/08:04 PM <1 17 15 above WSW 17 above SW
ISSSun Mar 06/06:55 PM 3 32 25 above WSW 17 above SSE
ISSMon Mar 07/07:21 PM 2 16 15 above SW 15 above SSW
ISSWed Mar 09/06:38 PM 1 15 15 above SW 15 above SSW

Charley B 27th Feb 2011 19:51

Thanks for the heads up-lovely and clear at Gatwick-we watched it go overhead bang on time just after 19.00 hrs-stars were lovely as well:)

treadigraph 27th Feb 2011 21:54

Rats, it had pretty well clouded over here at the appointed hour, after nearly an hour of clearish skies! Still I got a fairly muddy stroll in...

throw a dyce 28th Feb 2011 07:19

Another good sighting tonight at 1929.Going to try and get the telescope on it.No clouds so far and no street lights either.:ok::cool:

Old and Horrified 28th Feb 2011 14:46

Orbital boost are done roughly once a month. This is from NASA:

Even though the space station orbits in what most people on Earth would consider to be the “vacuum of space,” there still are enough atmospheric molecules that contact the surfaces of its large solar array panels, truss structure backbone and pressurized modules to change its speed, or velocity, which is about 17,500 miles, or 28,000 kiliometers an hour. The station is so large (as big as a football field with the end zones included) that the cumulative effect of these tiny particles contacting its surfaces reduces its speed and causes a minute but continuous lowering of its altitude, or height above the Earth.

To fight this tendency, thrusters on the space station or visiting vehicles such as the space shuttle, Progress resupply vehicles or ATVs are fired periodically to “reboost” the station. These reboosts, however, come at the cost of fuel, or propellant, that must be launched from Earth at significant cost.

At its current altitude, the space station uses about 19,000 pounds of propellant a year to maintain a consistent orbit. At the new, slightly higher altitude, the station is expected to expend about 8,000 pounds of propellant a year. And that will translate to a significant amount of food, water, clothing, research instruments and samples, and spare parts that can be flown on the cargo vehicles that will keep the station operational until 2020 and beyond"


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