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[b]Pilot Performance[/b] (Page 65, "Sustainer Stage Tracking")
[i]The pilot readily sighted the sustainer stage (spend Atlas booster) through the spacecraft window after completion of the spacecraft turnaround at a calculated distance of approximately 300 yards.
He continued to observe and photograph the sustainer for 8 1/2 minutes at which time the sustainer stage was calculated to be at a range of 3 miles behind and below the spacecraft...[/i]
[b]Pilots Flight Report[/b] (Page 70):
[i]Following the turnaround, I watched the expended launch vehicle through the window as it fell behind me, tumbling slowly. It was bright and easily visible. I could see what looked like little ice crystals emanating from the sustainer engine nozzle...[/i]
[b]Appendix MA-7 Air-to ground communications[/b] (Page 78 and 79):
[i]00 05 52 Pilot, "Okay, turnaround has stopped. I'm pitching down. I have the moon in the center of the window, and the booster off to the right slightly."
00 06 58 Pilot, "Roger. The control system on fly-by-wire is very good. I have the booster in the center of the window now, tumbling very slowly."
00 07 04.5 Pilot, "A steady stream of gas, white gas, out of the sustainer engine. Going to ASCS now."
00 09 54.5 Pilot, "Mark. One picture of the booster. Going to transmit and record now. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 .......10, 11, 12 pictures of the booster, traveling right down the center of the booster, right down the center of the window."
0010 34 Pilot, "...The, let's see, where's the booster? There's some beautiful cloud patterns down there. The booster is in front of a large cloud pattern. I seem to be, I seem to be much closer to the earth than I expected to be. The booster is 2 miles away now."
00 11 40 Pilot, "I have some pictures of the booster, maybe 17 or 18, all together. Then going to the horizon, north sweeping south. There is the moon, just setting. Winding the camera at this time."[/i]
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