RE: Re: Lacrosse 2 may have been de-orbited

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Sat Apr 02 2011 - 11:52:14 UTC

  • Next message: alberto rango: "R: Lacrosse 2 may have been de-orbited"

    As the list of no-show reports grows, it becomes more likely that Lacrosse 2 has indeed been de-orbited, a few weeks
    after the 20th anniversary of its launch, on 1991 March 08. 
    Today happens to be the 20th anniversary of Russell Eberst's report of his discovery of Lacrosse 2 in orbit, assisted by
    Pierre Neirinck. Souvenir copy appended.
    Nearly the entire orbital history of Lacrosse 2 has been documented by hobbyists. Here is Jonathan McDowell's archive of
    our elements through the end of 2009:
    Ted Molczan
    Date:	Tue, 2 Apr 1991 03:33:00 -0500
    To:	molczan@utorgpu
    ......... and the answer is 68 degrees.
     Once again the reliable team of Eberst and Neirinck provide the missing
    information.  On 1991 March  28, Russell Eberst made two observations of
    an unknown satellite. The circular orbit fitted through the positions
    indicated an inclination of 68 degs, and a revs/day of about 14.6.
     Since very few objects have inclinations close to 68degs and since the
    R.A. of node fitted in nicely with the launch calculations made by Ted
    Molczan, it seemed likely that the object seen might be the Lacrosse 2
    satellite believed to have been launched from Vandenberg on March 8.
     However, as the weather was deteriorating in Edinburgh, the observed
    fixes were phoned to Pierre Neirinck at Malo-les-Bains in France. He was
    able to make confirmatory observations on the following evening on two transits.
     Then from the available observations he calculated the following orbit:
     91-17A  91 89.9469666 .00015144
     67.9954 004.0288 .0004819 088.2277 271.8275 14.65533012
     The orbit is close to 29:2 resonance, or in other words the ground track
    nearly repeats itself after two days in 29 orbits.
     On April 1, the object was seen again through fairly thick cloud (no fixes)
    and second brighter object was seen at 20.49 U.T. This is believed to be
    the Titan last stage. Two fixes were made which showed it to be in at 68deg
    orbit. At present, the observations are being reduced.
     Observers are encouraged to make further observations of one or both of these
     Best wishes  Russell 1991 April 2
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