Reply To: Possible visibility of Virgin Orbit launch from the UK on January 9th

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#615043
Grant Privett
Participant

Using the graph Nick kindly provided of apparent elevation versus range, plus the ground path and flight profile I got some approx values.

If I am viewing the map right, the lat and lon lines are at 2 deg spacing, I get a position for the launcher as 37N 15.5W at T+480s and 32.5N 16.5W at engine cutout.

From Salisbury it looks like 200-300s after launch gives an altitude just under 4 degrees – rubbish, but just doable*from a high location on a good night, if the engine burn is very bright (who knows?). Okay, its a chance in a million.

From Lands End it is better – but still not great – at ~9 degs elevation at ignition +200s. Should be brighter though.

For Tenerife – I know someone out there currently. I get:
T+480s ~5 degs elevation at 160km alt, 970km distant with 0 deg bearing.
T+570s ~16degs elevation at 160km alt, 465km distant with 1 deg bearing.

For La Palma – for Paul
T+480 ~5 degs elevation at 160km alt, 950km distant with 13deg bearing.
T+570 ~18degs elevation at 160km alt, 442km distant with 17deg bearing.

I think I got that right… but some of the measurements have an element of handwavium.

Thanks again to Nick for the visibility map. I shall hang on to a copy of that.