88-018A flashing

From: ecannon@mail.utexas.edu
Date: Wed Apr 03 2002 - 21:46:11 EST

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    Ron Welch of Australia has discovered that Spacenet 3R (88-018A, 18951), 
    a drifting geosynch, is flashing with a period of about 32.86 seconds, 
    with the episodes being about 10 minutes later each night and lasting 
    roughly between 15 and 25 minutes.  The brightest flashes were at least 
    +3.0 magnitude.  Tony Beresford has already added it to his geoflsh file:
    I believe this is the same type of satellite as other flashing ones such 
    as GSTAR 1 and 3; it's called either GE 3000 or AS 3000 -- if either of 
    those is current.
    I meant to mention a week or two ago that there are several eyewitness 
    reports of the March 15 (local time) Vandenburg launch at this URL:
    The locations are NV, AZ, and CA with times around 18:__ (Pacific time) 
    and 19:__ (Mountain) and one from CA mistakenly entered as 06:25 (but 
    was really 6:25 PM Pacific).  I find it very interesting to read reports 
    by people who did not know what it was they were seeing.  In late August
    or early September 1967 I saw one of these in evening twilight from 
    south central Los Angeles, California.  I didn't have any idea what it 
    was, but fortunately one of the group of us who were looking at it did 
    know.  It was certainly an amazing, awesome sight!
    Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA
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