RE: SATOBS 2006 April 05-06

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Thu Apr 06 2006 - 12:26:29 EDT

  • Next message: Björn Gimle: "5918 obs 2006-04-06"

    David Brierley replied to Peter Wakelin:
    > > 05-42A:  A single bright flare at approx 203910. Has it manoeuvred
    > > slightly or have I screwed up?  I am unable to get a good fit to either
    > > Mike's or Pierre's elsets, both only a day old.
    > No you haven't screwed up.  I was puzzled by the 10' cross-track error
    > in your first two observations, but combining them with Mike Waterman's
    > observations I think I've detected a change in inclination and
    > eccentricity after April 1.
    USA 186's (05042A / 28888) line of apsides has just (on Apr 5) precessed through
    the equatorial plane - ideal for changing the inclination and several other
    elements with a single burn. Its new inclination results in nearly the same rate
    of precession of the ascending node as USA 161 (01044A / 26934), which recently
    manoeuvred to set up synchronized operation with USA 186.
    USA 129 (96072A / 24680), which USA 186 has replaced, recently raised its
    altitude and decreased its inclination, causing its plane to drift westward
    relative the western KeyHole plane, at about 0.5 deg/month. Since its plane is 1
    deg east of that plane, it is unclear whether the intent is to return to the
    plane, or to continue further west.
    Ted Molczan
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