NASA Graphic: Kennedy Space Center 1st Landing Opportunity – Orbit 237.
UPDATE: Both conditions for successful viewing of the Discovery Space Shuttle were not met early today: The landing route and the weather. The Space Shuttle landing was postponed to a third landing attempt with a route away from Chicago. Also, the Infrared Satellite image including the Chicago area showed almost the entire state of Illinois under cloud cover at flyover time for Orbit 237. The weather (Arlingtoncards.com/weather: Partly Cloudy, 40°F, Wind Calm) had looked good for a possible Space Shuttle sighting over Chicago. But even if the weather cooperated, the chosen deorbiting route was far from Chicago. If NASA had directed the shuttle to deorbit to Kennedy Space Center on Orbit 237, Chicagoans could have been in luck. However, The Discovery Space Shuttle (Orbiter Vehicle Destination OV-103) took another route (Orbit 238) that traveled southeast — flying over southwest Canada and a large portion of the United States, including Vancouver, British Columbia, northeastern Washington, Montana, Wyoming, Southwestern Nebraska, North-Eastern Colorado, Southwestern Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and on to Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Another route away from Chicago was also possible: The shuttle also could have landed on another orbit on a path to Edwards Air Force Base in California, also leaving Chicagoans without a view of the Space Shuttle.
Video of Space Shuttle STS-131 Discovery landing at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Tuesday.
See also …
NASA – STS 131 Landing Ground Tracks
HUMAN SPACEFLIGHT REAL TIME DATA (NASA SkyWatch application)
Instructions (INSTRUCTIONS NO LONGER VALID SINCE SHUTTLE LANDED) …
1. Enter Zip Code Lower Right of world map
(if cookies exist for previous visit to this page, you will see your last known location)
2. Select dropdown menu for Space Shuttle, not ISS
3. Click the ‘Next Sighting’ button
As of 9:36 p.m. on April 18, 2010 the closest approach is reported to be Tue Apr 20@4:42:27 AM
Maximum Elevation only 12.7 degrees. Look for it North-Northeast (Azimuth 340.8 to 018.0 degrees)
Also listen for double sonic boom.
(The data is subject to change)
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