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New Frontiers in Science is an online journal that examines unexplained and controversial scientific phenomena. NFS publishes research and theories outside currently accepted scientific paradigms. In this issue, NFS presents a new analysis of STS-48 video data by Lan Fleming. Fleming's paper shows that the prosaic explanation of the video (ice particle/thruster firing hypothesis) is not consistent with the horizon transit times of stars during the shuttle orbit on which the events occurred. Access to articles in previous issues is provided through the NFS Archive.

Vol. 2, No. 2 (Winter 2003): STS-48 Video

Click here for on overview of the STS-48 video by Mark Carlotto along with an on-line version of his original paper published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration in 1995.


Evidence Supporting a Prosaic Explanation of the STS-48 Video

A New Look at the Evidence Supporting a Prosaic Explanation of the STS-48 "UFO" Video

Lan Fleming

STS-48 Video It has been argued that the seemingly unusual behavior of objects observed during the STS-48 space shuttle mission can be explained as the reaction of small debris particles floating near the shuttle to the firing of the spacecraft's rockets. Two independent lines of evidence are presented here that suggest there could have been no causal link between the objects' behavior and the rocket firing. The issue of the exact time of the events relative to the documented time of the rocket firing is first examined on the basis of times computed for horizon transits by stars during the shuttle orbit on which the events occurred. A significant discrepancy between the times displayed on the video recording and the times of expected horizon transits is described. The nature of the light flash itself is then examined in more detail, revealing that it was a sudden increase in the intensity of reflected light and could not have been the light emitted by burning rocket exhaust entering the camera's field of view.

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