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Archive for the ‘Minnesota State University Moorhead’


STS-131 Re-Entry over Minnesota !?! 0

Posted on April 19, 2010 by admin

[Addendum: NASA TV reports showers within 30 miles of Kennedy Space Center means landing on Orbit 237 has been cancelled. 🙁 – Updated at 5:57 am CDT, April 20. The landing on Orbit 238 looks more likely. Unfortunately for us, that takes the Shuttle far to the west of us during its landing.]

What’s going on with this page? The Space Shuttle Discovery was not able to land on the morning of Monday, April 19 due to bad weather atthe Kennedy Space Center. This however means we in Minnesota now have a good chance to see and maybe even hear the Space Shuttle Discovery re-enter the atmosphere in the early morning of Tuesday, April 20 in the half-hour before sunrise!

How will we know if the re-entry of the Space Shuttle will be over Minnesota? You can check the STS-131 Landing Blog. By 5:31 am CDT the Space ShuttleDiscovery will have to start its deorbit burn, so we should know by then if the landing will be over Minnesota. [Addendum: NASA TV reports showers within 30 miles of Kennedy Space Center means landing on Orbit 237 has been cancelled. 🙁 – Updated at 5:57 am CDT, April 20. The landing on Orbit 238 looks more likely.]

What is the Path the Space Shuttle will follow During Re-Entry? The first landing opportunity for the Space Shuttle Discovery comes during Orbit 237 and would follow the path shown below (From NASA’s STS-131 Ground Tracks page)

What do you mean “hear” the space shuttle? If the Space Shuttle passes over Minnesota, it will have slowed down a bit already, but it will still be traveling about 13,600 miles per hour or a bit over Mach 18!  As such, even if we don’t see the Space Shuttle, we may in fact hear the twin sonic booms about half a second apart of the re-entry a few minutes after it flies overhead since the shuttle will be only about 45 miles overhead!  There are two sonic booms, one generated by compression of air near the nose of the Shuttle, and another by compression near the tail.  Its not just me, AccuWeather is claiming we might well hear the sonic boom! Furthermore, Space.com has this article on the (now aborted) entry that was going to be over the Dakotas on Monday morning, and it says the first effects of Earth’s atmosphere on the Space Shuttle are at an altitude of about 75 miles. Since it would be only about 44 miles over Minnesota, I suspect we might well hear it. I figure if the Space Shuttle is at 44 miles and sound takes about 5 seconds per mile, we should hear any sonic boom about 2 to 3 minutes to get to the ground (WARNING: I am not taking into account variations in the speed of sound due to varying air density/temperature. I could be off by up to a minute).

What do the twin sonic booms sound like? Here is a YouTube recording of the Shuttle’s twin sonic boom. From what I have read, the twin sonic booms can be heard about 40 miles to either side of the flight path in the right situations.

When will the Space Shuttle Pass over Minnesota if it does Re-Enter over Minnesota? If the Space Shuttle Discovery re-enters the Earth’s atmosphere during Orbit 237, the NASA Human Space Flight Realtime data page tells us the following:

 

Details for the Fargo-Moorhead Area:

The Space Shuttle will come over the horizon in the northwest at 6:12:58 am CDT in the northwest. However, it will not clear the Earth’s shadow until about 30 seconds later at 06:13:29 am CDT. It will appear to speed up as it rises in the sky over the next 2 minutes until it is almost overhead. The closest approach will be at 6:15:16 am CDT when the Shuttle is only 43 miles away when it 71 degrees above the horizon (almost overhead) a little bit to the northwest moving toward the southeast! The Shuttle will remain over the horizon until 6:17:50 am CDT. Fortunately for Fargo-Moorhead, sunrise is at 6:30 am CDT, so we have the best shot in Minnesota for seeing the Shuttle in dark skies. It may still be difficult to spot given the dawn sky. if you don’t see it, be sure to stick around long enough listen for the sonic boom a few minutes later (about 6:17 to 6:19 am it should reach the ground)! Details on the passage are listed below (azimuth is angle east of north, elevation is angle above the horizon).

Local Time Azimuth Elevation Range Height of Sun above Horizon (as seen by Shuttle) Angle between Sun and Shuttle
Deg E of N Deg Miles Deg Deg
Tue-Apr-20@06:12:58 297.2 0.3 566 -1.2 158.6
Tue-Apr-20@06:12:58 297.5 1.3 503 -0.5 158
Tue-Apr-20@06:13:29 297.8 2.5 440 0.1 157.5
Tue-Apr-20@06:13:44 298.1 3.8 378 0.7 156.9
Tue-Apr-20@06:13:59 298.4 5.5 317 1.3 156.3
Tue-Apr-20@06:14:15 298.7 7.7 256 1.9 155.8
Tue-Apr-20@06:14:30 299 11 197 2.5 155.2
Tue-Apr-20@06:14:45 299.3 16.6 138 3.1 154.6
Tue-Apr-20@06:15:01 299.6 29.2 84 3.7 154
Tue-Apr-20@06:15:16 299.7 71 43 4.3 153.4
Tue-Apr-20@06:15:31 120.5 42.9 60 4.8 152.8
Tue-Apr-20@06:15:47 120.7 21.3 109 5.3 152.2
Tue-Apr-20@06:16:02 121.1 13.3 163 5.9 151.5
Tue-Apr-20@06:16:17 121.4 9.1 217 6.4 150.9
Tue-Apr-20@06:16:33 121.8 6.5 271 6.9 150.3
Tue-Apr-20@06:16:48 122.2 4.7 325 7.3 149.7
Tue-Apr-20@06:17:04 122.6 3.2 378 7.8 149.1
Tue-Apr-20@06:17:19 123 2.1 430 8.2 148.5
Tue-Apr-20@06:17:34 123.4 1.1 481 8.7 147.9
Tue-Apr-20@06:17:50 123.8 0.3 532 9 147.3

 

Details for the Twin Cities Area:

The Space Shuttle will come over the horizon in the northwest at 6:14 am CDT in the northwest and it will appear to speed up as it rises over the next 2 minutes until it is almost overhead. The closest approach will be at 6:16:17 AM when the Shuttle is only 44 miles away when it 65 degrees above the northeastern horizon (about 2/3 of the way to the zenith from the horizon) moving toward the southeast! The Shuttle will remain over the horizon until almost 6:19 am CDT. Unfortunately sunrise is at 6:19 am CDT, so you will be fighting the intense dawn sky light to see the Shuttle. However, listen for the sonic boom a few minutes later! Details on the passage are listed below (azimuth is angle east of north, elevation is angle above the horizon).

Local Time Azimuth Elevation Range Height of Sun above Horizon (as seen by Shuttle) Angle between Sun and Shuttle
Deg E of N Deg Miles Deg Deg
Tue-Apr-20@06:13:59 304.1 0.8 528 1.3 155
Tue-Apr-20@06:13:59 304.7 1.9 467 1.9 154.5
Tue-Apr-20@06:14:30 305.4 3 407 2.5 153.9
Tue-Apr-20@06:14:45 306.2 4.4 348 3.1 153.4
Tue-Apr-20@06:15:01 307.2 6.2 289 3.7 152.8
Tue-Apr-20@06:15:16 308.5 8.7 231 4.3 152.2
Tue-Apr-20@06:15:31 310.5 12.4 175 4.8 151.7
Tue-Apr-20@06:15:47 314 19 120 5.3 151.1
Tue-Apr-20@06:16:02 323.5 34.4 71 5.9 150.5
Tue-Apr-20@06:16:17 36.9 65.1 44 6.4 150
Tue-Apr-20@06:16:33 107.2 33.9 70 6.9 149.4
Tue-Apr-20@06:16:48 116.5 18.8 118 7.3 148.8
Tue-Apr-20@06:17:04 120.1 12.3 168 7.8 148.3
Tue-Apr-20@06:17:19 122.1 8.7 219 8.2 147.7
Tue-Apr-20@06:17:34 123.5 6.3 270 8.7 147.1
Tue-Apr-20@06:17:50 124.6 4.6 319 9 146.6
Tue-Apr-20@06:18:05 125.5 3.2 368 9.4 146
Tue-Apr-20@06:18:20 126.4 2.1 416 9.8 145.5
Tue-Apr-20@06:18:36 127.1 1.2 463 10.1 145
Tue-Apr-20@06:18:51 127.9 0.4 509 10.4 144.5

 

Details for the Rochester Area:

The Space Shuttle will come over the horizon in the northwest at 6:14 am CDT in the northwest and it will appear to speed up as it rises over the next 2 minutes until it is almost overhead. The closest approach will be at 6:16:33 AM when the Shuttle is only 65 miles away when it 37 degrees above the northern horizon (about 1/3 of the way to the zenith from the horizon) moving toward the southeast! The Shuttle will remain over the horizon until almost 6:19 am CDT. Unfortunately sunrise is at 6:18 am CDT, so you may lose the Space Shuttle in the dawn glare. However, listen for the sonic boom a few minutes later! Details on the passage are listed below (azimuth is angle east of north, elevation is angle above the horizon).

Local Time Azimuth Elevation Range Height of Sun above Horizon (as seen by Shuttle) Angle between Sun and Shuttle
Deg E of N Deg Miles Deg Deg
Tue-Apr-20@06:14:15 308.7 0.6 538 1.9 154.2
Tue-Apr-20@06:14:15 309.7 1.6 479 2.5 153.7
Tue-Apr-20@06:14:45 310.9 2.7 420 3.1 153.1
Tue-Apr-20@06:15:01 312.4 4 361 3.7 152.6
Tue-Apr-20@06:15:16 314.3 5.6 304 4.3 152
Tue-Apr-20@06:15:31 316.9 7.8 248 4.8 151.5
Tue-Apr-20@06:15:47 320.7 10.8 193 5.3 150.9
Tue-Apr-20@06:16:02 327.3 15.7 141 5.9 150.4
Tue-Apr-20@06:16:17 341.2 24.4 95 6.4 149.8
Tue-Apr-20@06:16:33 18.6 37.2 65 6.9 149.3
Tue-Apr-20@06:16:48 74.6 32.1 73 7.3 148.7
Tue-Apr-20@06:17:04 99.2 20.1 110 7.8 148.2
Tue-Apr-20@06:17:19 109.1 13.4 156 8.2 147.7
Tue-Apr-20@06:17:34 114.4 9.5 203 8.6 147.1
Tue-Apr-20@06:17:50 117.7 6.9 252 9 146.6
Tue-Apr-20@06:18:05 120.1 5.1 299 9.4 146.1
Tue-Apr-20@06:18:20 121.9 3.7 346 9.8 145.6
Tue-Apr-20@06:18:36 123.4 2.6 392 10.1 145.1
Tue-Apr-20@06:18:51 124.7 1.6 437 10.4 144.6
Tue-Apr-20@06:19:06 125.9 0.8 481 10.7 144.1
Tue-Apr-20@06:19:22 127 0.1 524 11 143.6

Shimo or how I learned to accept Cisco VPN 0

Posted on September 08, 2007 by Juan

When I first came to Minnesota State University Moorhead, I was irritated by the fact that their wireless network didn’t use some authentication scheme. Instead it is open, but useless unless you log in via a Cisco VPN client. This was irritating to me because the Cisco VPN server (at least the setup for MSUM) was not compatible with the built-in VPN clients in MacOS X. As such you had to use Cisco’s incredibly poorly designed client. It worked, but everytime I wanted to connect, I had to launch the Cisco VPN application, then log in. The password was not remembered in Apple’s Keychain, which was just un-Mac-like.

Lo and behold, a few week’s after getting here, I discovered the (then) newly introduced Cisco VPN frontend for the Mac, Shimo. Shimo is awesome. It lives in the Menubar and all I every had to do to log in to the campus VPN network is go to the Shimo menu and click “Connect”. Done. This has actually come in very useful when I am away from campus since access to the VPN network allows me to connect to any MSUM server as if I was local, so I have been able to send outbound mail from Arizona, run IDL (using the campus license server) from Minneapolis, and so on.

Setting up Shimo for use here is fairly simple.

  1. First go to the MSUM Cisco VPN client download page. Download and install the appropriate client for MacOS Cisco VPN client software.
  2. Download and install Shimo.
  3. Launch Shimo (it’s in the /Applications directory). It’ll appear on your menubar as a “doorway” icon. Click on it and select “Preferences…”.
  4. In the General Preferences tab, I just set up Shimo to launch on startup, to disconnect the VPN on quit, and to show how long I have been connected on the menubar.
  5. I then when to the Profiles tab and clicked on the [+] button near the bottom of the pane to add a profile.
  6. When the Profiles sheet appears, I just set up a “msumvpn” profilename in the General tab:
  7. Under the Authentication tab, I had to set my username and password (blurred out here), and here’s the tricky bit, at MSUM, the Authentication method is “Group”, so you have to know the Group name and password, which (as revealed on the Linux VPN Configuration Instructions page for MSUM) are “wireless” and “dragon-wireless” respectively. With those four pieces of information, the MSUM VPN account was setup. I clicked “OK” to accept. The passwords are stored securely in Apple’s Keychain, so I never have to worry about them again.
  8. Under the Connection tab, I had to tell Shimo the address of my server (“msumvpn.mnstate.edu”) and the VPN protocol (IPSec over UDP).
  9. Now all I do is go to my menubar and select “Connect” and I am connected to the VPN.

Now, with a nice, simple, mac interface, the only issue I have with the MSUM VPN server is that it disconnects you from the VPN after about 60 minutes. If this bothers you, you can set up Shimo to automatically reconnect if the connection is dropped and/or to automatically connect if it sees the “msum-wireless” wireless network. Its all under the Profile “Advanced” settings.

Getting Address Book to lookup Staff/Student Email Addresses at MSUM 0

Posted on September 04, 2007 by Juan

I have found that the folks here at Minnesota State University Moorhead are fairly operating system agnostic (unlike St. Cloud State University, which was relatively hostile to any OS not from Redmond). Usually if there is a problem, it is not because MSUM folks choose a Microsoft solution, but rather it is lack of documentation. This is one such case.

I was trying to get my Mail program to talk to the MSUM directory server. It’s not hard, but it wasn’t documented anywhere (for either MacOS or Windows). So I talked to Bill Scheffler, the local Mac guru, and in short order he produced a set of instructions which I am now placing online (with his permission).

These instructions are for Macs running the current version of MacOS X (10.4). You can probably use them to figure out what you need on other operating systems from this.

  1. Open the Address Book application.
  2. Select Preferences… from the Address Book menu.
  3. Click on the LDAP icon in the toolbar.
  4. Click the [+] button in the lower left hand corner to add an entry. Fill out the fields with the following:
    1. Name: Anything that works, I use “MSUM LDAP
    2. Server [address]:ldap.mnstate.edu
    3. Search Base: ou=Users, dc=mnstate, dc=edu

    Once you are done, everything should look like the screenshot below:

    Ldapsetup1

  5. Click the “Save” button and the LDAP section should match this screen:
    Ldapsetup2
  6. Click the red close button in the top left hand corner to save changes and setup is done.

Note that when you have done this, Mail.app will automatically look up matching names in the directory as you type. However, it only works if you are connected locally to the MSUM network (or if you are connected to the MSUM VPN remotely).

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