obs of ATS 5 R

vince gardiner (vgardi@coffs.net.au)
Sat, 29 Mar 1997 19:54:22 +1000

Vince Gardiner, VAG, Lat = -30.35, Long = +153.082, Alt = 12 m
69- 69 B 97-03-29 09:32      VAG 438.2 0.3   5  87.6 FF mag -2 ->inv
69- 69 B 97-03-30 09:30      VAG 263.4 0.3   3  87.8 FF mag0->inv

This object was seen at 21000 KM ! distance, naked eye. First flash was
mag -2 and each following flash lost about 2 magnitudes until its next
cycle, whch commenced with a mag 0 flash. Extremely slow moving.
The next night (30th) it was almost in the same position and started
with a mag 0 flash following the same pattern as above.
For the next two days I searched in my 8300 sat file for a candidate,
and the only one to appear was #04069 ATS 5 r. It had to be of extremely
high altitude because of its slow motion near T1 & T2 Hydra.
It was seen both nights through a break in clouds, and the next night I
was to track it by telescope, no flashes were seen, and I later found
the object was 40 deg below the horizon approaching perigee.
If any-one has any further candidates I would like to hear of them.
Is this rocket big enough to have caused such a bright reflection at
this distance ?. 
Regards,
Vince Gardiner.   vgardi@coffs.net.au
Coffs Harbour N.S.W. Australia
-30.35   +153.082