Sonic Boom Generated by Reentry of Mir
AEROSPACE CORP EL SEGUNDO CA ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY GROUP
Pagination or Media Count:
The Russian space station, Mir, was actively deorbited to impact in the South Pacific on 23 March 2001. Mir was the largest body in Earth orbit ever to be deorbited in a controlled fashion. As such, it provided a unique opportunity to observe, at a known time and location, what happens to such a large object as it re-enters the earths atmosphere. The reentry and breakup were videotaped from the Fiji Sheraton hotel by a CNN cameraman. About four to five minutes after the streaking Mir debris left his view, he described hearing a number of sonic booms which were generated by pieces of the wreckage. This report contains the cameramans description of what he heard and a calculation of the sonic boom amplitude and duration which would have been generated by a single Mir module on its reentry trajectory. Results of the calculation are consistent with the reported estimated time of boom arrival past visual sighting. However, no actual measurements were made at the hotel of the boom strength sound level. Thus the code results for boom amplitude cannot be quantitatively verified.
- Unmanned Spacecraft