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Cosmos 2293 is one of the Russian 'EORSAT's ( Electronic Ocean Reconnaisance Satellites ). The operational orbits of the current generation of these satellites has always been a circular orbit with Mean Motion of 15.520 anomalistic orbits per day. Usually there are two or more satellites operating at any given time, and their orbits are controlled so that they pass at about 30 minutes intervals. This is maintained with a very high precision, (See below.) unlike photo reconnaisance satellites, whose orbits are adjusted with large impulsive delta-V's, when atmospheric drag has lowered the orbit too much.

Since Cosmos 2293 was commanded out of its operation orbit, about 960326, it appears to follow a normal decay curve. An earlier EORSAT that decayed normally after being brought down from the operational orbits is Cosmos 2244.

Some EORSATs appear to have had their orbit correction systems running in the initial decay phase (Two-phase EORSAT decays) and, finally, some decayed so slowly that the orbit correction systems appears to have been operating during the entire decay (Slow EORSAT decays). The screen snapshot below shows Mean Motion values for EORSAT Cosmos 2293 from elsets.

Figure 1: Mean motion for Cosmos 2293 as a function of time

Figure 2: Mean motion for Cosmos 2293 as a function of time

Bart de Pontieu
Fri May 24 11:30:41 MET DST 1996