Friday, March 1, 2013

How to Spot SpaceX Dragon CRS-2 (SpX-2) Flyover

A couple sites are providing overhead tracking information about SpaceX Dragon CRS-2, which includes information for possible sightings. I'm still not sure if it will be visible or not, but it's worth a shot as the capsule flies away from the sunset on the evening of March 2, 2013.

spacex dragon crs-2 flyover predictions
Screenshot from n2yo.com on March 1, 2013 at 8:20pm EST

Both n2yo.com and NASA Skywatch have sighting information for the SpaceX Dragon CRS-2 capsule. I found n2yo.com to be a little more helpful (and optimistic) about my sighting chances.

A glitch with the thruster pods made it unlikely that the capsule would reach the ISS on the planned date of March 2 (source). With engineers currently planning a new rendezvous orbit, you may only get one chance to see the capsule before berthing. At this point it looks like the capsule will dock some time on Sunday, March 3, 2013 (See original Mission Timeline)

The sites will update as minor changes to the orbit are made, but so far it looks like you may only get one chance to see the capsule before docking to the station (unless there are more delays prior to March 3).

spacex dragon crs-2 flyover predictions
Screenshot from n2yo.com, tentative Dragon CRS-2 sighting predictions. I crossed out March 11 because the capsule will presumably have docked well before then.

spacex dragon crs-2 flyover predictions
Screenshot from n2yo.com, tentative Dragon CRS-2 sighting predictions for March 2, 2013.


In Bowling Green, Ohio, it looks like I might have one slim chance to spot it tomorrow. However, since sunset at my location isn't until 6:26pm and the flyover goes from 6:25pm-6:29pm, I doubt I will see anything at all (not to mention the clouds!). Oh well, it's still sorta cool knowing when it will be flying overhead, even if it is classified as a "barely visible" pass.

My regular go-to satellite tracking site, Heavens-Above, doesn't have Dragon listed at the time of this post. Major bummer!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...