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Re: Space Shuttle

jcowens@netscape.com wrote:
  it produces a tracking window with orbit info shown and other info as 
though this thing is already in the air. I must be missing something.

The tracking software hams use is based on the assumption that the only 
forces acting on the spacecraft are gravity from the Earth, Sun and 
Moon, and also a simple estimate of atmospheric drag.  Once a rocket 
engine is fired, this assumption breaks down.   Keplerian elements are 
essentially a measure of a satellites position and velocity at a 
specific time. The elements you are using are an estimate of where we 
expect the Shuttle to be _after_ its main engines shut down, so 
predictions of it's position before that time are invalid.

The ISS or space shuttle can be hard to keep track of since they 
frequently fire thieir rockets to adjust their orbits.

-Joe KM1P
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