Re: ALERT: Iridium 48 ambiguity

Ron Lee (
Tue, 13 Apr 1999 13:01:24 -0600

I believe I read an article recently that the iridium folks are dropping
one or more satellites that are inoperative to minimize debris.
The article are mentioned 12 inoperative satellites.

Ron Lee

 Therefore it seemed likely that the 25107 orbits
>showing a powered, continuous, but erratic descent by Iridium 48 did
>indeed refer to the original satellite and not some small fragment that
>had been ejected. On April 12, I had a good pass (max. elevation well over

>So the question arises, is the descent intended and planned (perhaps to
>start a plane change) or is it due to a malfunction such as a jammed
>valve that has used all the station-keeping fuel in one massive prolonged
>burst?  It will be interesting to see if the descent stops when the
>revs/day reaches around 15.16 (as with #25527and #25529, 98-66A and C)
>or if it continues until Irid48 reaches the denser layers of the atmosphere.
>best wishes 
>Russell  Eberst  @   North: 55 degrees, 56 minutes, 55 seconds: