[meteorite-list] Caltech Astronomer Saw Shuttle Apparently in

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Thu Apr 22 10:18:24 2004
Message-ID: <200302021904.LAA11209_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>

> Hi,
> This may not be the "smoking gun" that it appears to be. It is usual for the
> hot ionized plasma that surrounds the shuttle to "detach" from the fireball
> surrounding the craft and trail back before cooling enough to go dark. The only way
> to distinguish between trailing plasma-balls and trailing debris is by the time
> each takes to go dark. A material object, like a tile, will continue to generate
> its own little "fireball," and hence is bright much longer.

That may be, though when you look at the timeline of events, it starts to get
very interesting. At the NASA press conference yesterday, the first
sign of any anomaly in the telemetry from Columbia was at 8:53 AM EST,
when they lost the data in the sensors in the left wing. Remember, loss
of all communications with the shuttle occurred 9AM EST when it was over
Texas. The shuttle had started to pass
over California, just north of San Francisco, at 8:51 AM EST. What the
Caltech astronomer observed occurred very close to, or just prior to the
sensors starting to go out on Columbia.

Ron Baalke
Received on Sun 02 Feb 2003 02:04:00 PM PST

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