Possible source of Ugandan rocket fragment

From: Alan Pickup (alan@wingar.demon.co.uk)
Date: Wed Apr 10 2002 - 15:03:19 EDT

  • Next message: Alan Pickup: "Re: Possible source of Ugandan rocket fragment"

    Ron Baalke (baalke@jpl.nasa.gov) has today posted the following message 
    to a NASA mailing list:
    
     > Mubende Hit By Rocket Fragment, Says Police
     > Frederick Kiwanuka
     > New Vision (Kampala)
     > April 10, 2002
     >
     > POLICE yesterday said the alien spherical object that landed in
     > Kasambya, Kikandwa sub-county in Mubende district last month was not a 
     > meteorite but a suspected rocket fragment from outer space.
     >
     > Police spokesman Asuman Mugenyi, whose personnel collected the object 
     > for scrutiny, said yesterday that they were still scrutinising the
     > object whose whereabouts he did not disclose.
     >
     > Full story here:
     >
     > http://allafrica.com/stories/200204100271.html
    
    Other than "last month", there is no report of a day or time for the 
    fall of this object. However, I have checked all last month's major 
    decayers and come up with one very attractive candidate. This is the 
    GStar 1 Ariane 3 rocket (#15679 = 85- 35 C) that decayed on March 27. 
    The final elset for this reads:
    
    GStar 1 Ariane 3 r                               261 x 113 km
    1 15679U 85035C   02086.67815157  .86040068 -35625-4  91360-3 0  1504
    2 15679   6.4985 118.5911 0112803 299.1047  61.4789 16.32169231222178
    
    and the final decay analyses posted at the time are:
    
    Source   Prediction made    Predicted decay at      Latitude Longitude
                    UTC                UTC                  deg      deg
    SpaceCom   Mar 27 19:07     Mar 27 17:43 +-7m         0.0 N    25.0 E
    SatEvo     Mar 27 23:15     Mar 27 17:37 +-10m        3.0 S     1.4 E
    
    Using Mike McCants's LATLONG program and a SatEvo-derived elset that 
    differs only slightly from that above, I get the following track for the 
    minutes following these times.
    
            UTC      lat.     long.
           h  m  s
          17 42  0   0.8 S   20.9 E
          17 42 30   0.5 S   22.8 E
          17 43  0   0.3 S   24.7 E
          17 43 30   0.1 S   26.7 E
          17 44  0   0.2 N   28.6 E
          17 44 30    .4 N   30.6 E
          17 45  0    .7 N   32.5 E
          17 45 30    .9 N   34.4 E
          17 46  0   1.1 N   36.4 E
          17 46 30   1.4 N   38.3 E
          17 47  0   1.6 N   40.2 E
    
    Note that Mubende, Uganda, is at 0.55 N, 31.37 E, very close indeed to 
    the interpolated track position for 17:44:42 UTC.
    
    Can anyone supply supporting info regarding the date/time?
    
    Alan
    -- 
    Alan Pickup / COSPAR 2707:  55.8968N   3.1989W   +208m   (WGS84 datum)
    Edinburgh  / SatEvo & elsets:    http://www.wingar.demon.co.uk/satevo/
    Scotland  / Decay Watch: http://www.wingar.demon.co.uk/satevo/dkwatch/
              *
    
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