RE: USA 160/160(c)

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Sun Apr 06 2003 - 06:11:41 EDT

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    ykchia wrote:
    >   When I saw the twin sats drifted by Orion - at first I thought this 
    > might be two of the trio NOSS triplets but subsequent  ID 
    > revealed they 
    > are USA 160 and 160(c) .. What does the (c) means?
    They are NOSS. For unknown reason, only two payloads were deployed from the
    first Atlas 2AS NOSS launch. We know that they are payloads, because both have
    manoeuvred. I strongly suspect that the third payload failed to deploy. A
    similar launch appears to be scheduled for June 2003.
    In USA 160 (C), the (c) means that it is object c from the launch of USA 160.
    For some reason, USSTRATCOM did not catalogue the second payload, but it did
    catalogue object c as debris. Hobbyists have never seen debris from this
    launch, which does not mean that it does not exist; however, it is possible
    that USSTRATCOM accidentally catalogued the second payload as debris. For
    convenience we have assigned one of the payloads to object c.
    Ted Molczan
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