Amateur Satellite Tracking Network Locate Possible Reentry Area

A tentative chart of UARS reenter area (Credit:: Ted Molczan).

Source Leonard David on Space.com: Ted Molczan, a Toronto-based leader of a global network of satellite-tracking sleuths, told SPACE.com that it’s tough to come together on the actual re-entry spot for UARS. He’s been busy using United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM) orbital elements to plot the end of UARS.

“I am making these estimates to maintain awareness of the approximate decay time, to maximize mychances of seeing the event,” Molczan told SPACE.com. “If, within a few hours of the decay, it appears that it will occur on a revolution that spends some time above my horizon, then, weather permitting, I will go out and watch for it during the several minutes in which it might pass.”

Molczan added that, with any luck, he would enjoy seeing a nice fireworks display. “Currently, it appears that luck will not be with me, but perhaps others can benefit from the information.”

That’s the case for skywatcher and satellite re-entry analyst, Harro Zimmer of Berlin. He has also used software and available satellite tracking data to crank out his predictive solution, showing UARS descending over 0.2°S, 140.1° E, which is in the South Pacific, north of New Guinea.

Originally published on Space.com on September 22, 2011.

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Andrea Gini

Andrea Gini

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Andrea Gini is a scientific journalist and a professional of the space industry, working as a contractor on ISS Payload Safety. He is the Editor-in-chief of the Space Safety Magazine. Andrea is also Chairman of the Information and Communication Committee of the International Association for Advancement in Space Safety (IAASS), publisher of the Space Safety Magazine, and he is responsible for the communication strategy of the association, Andrea holds a BSc and an MSc in computer science from the University of Milano, a Master in scientific journalism from the International School for Advanced Studies of Trieste and a MSc in Space Studies from the International Space University.

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