Request for obs of Shenzhou 6 from Australia and New Zealand

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Tue Oct 11 2005 - 07:41:13 EDT

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    I would very much appreciate receiving observation reports of Shenzhou 6 and its
    rocket, made during the first 6h 53m after launch, when Shenzhou will still be
    in its elliptical parking orbit.
    I seek observational confirmation that the rocket's 2nd stage is propelled into
    a slightly lower orbit than Shenzhou, as a result of its separation manoeuvre
    upon orbital insertion. This portion of Shenzhou missions seldom is tracked by
    US Strategic Command, so I had to deduce this information.
    Observers in Australia and New Zealand appear to have the best possibility to
    make this observation, but observations are welcome from anyone in a position to
    make them.
    I do not require precise positional observations. It will suffice to time the
    passage of Shenzhou and its rocket to the nearest second, as they pass between
    the same pair of stars, or near the same single star. Both are expected to be in
    the sky at the same time, on nearly same the path.
    Also, please note the brightness and any variation of both objects. The rocket
    may slowly tumble, causing it to vary regularly in brightness, and possibly to
    flash. It is best to refer to them as "leader" and "trailer", though I an fairly
    certain that the rocket will lead.
    I have posted search elements for both objects, for the two most likely launch
    times on Oct 12: 01:00 and 03:00 UTC:
    Clear skies!
    Ted Molczan
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