Updated USA 159 r elements

From: Ted Molczan (molczan@home.com)
Date: Sun Aug 19 2001 - 14:32:51 PDT

  • Next message: Bruno Tilgner: "Re: Geodetic precision"

    I derived the following using data from Ed Cannon, Paul Gabriel, Mike McCants
    and Sue Worden, between 2001 Aug 17 - 19 UTC:
    
    USA 159 r1       9.8  3.0  0.0  4.8 v
    1 26881U 01033B   01231.08995949  .00335660  00000-0  38703-3 0    02
    2 26881  28.6351 161.5725 0376380 216.8576 140.6334 15.40826145    08
    
    Mean residuals are about 0.02 deg.
    
    Without access to NASA/GSFC/OIG we cannot determine whether or not U.S.
    Spacecom has issued correct elements for this object. As of Friday afternoon,
    OIG had only U.S. Spacecom's two erroneous elsets.
    
    Out of curiosity, I used Rob Matson's COLA program to see whether or not this
    large rocket body would pass near the docked ISS/STS 105. For ISS/STS 105, I
    used this projected elset produced by NASA:
    
    1 26888U 01035A   01231.41399812  .00042100  00000-0  53800-3 0  9014
    2 26888  51.6385 130.0210 0008382  15.6836 344.4576 15.56836648  1353
    
    COLA reported that the objects will pass within 48.2 km of each other today,
    2001 Aug 19, at 22:08:21.6 UTC. Fortunately, the rocket body will pass about 8
    km above ISS/STS 105, so a collision seems unlikely. The objects will be at the
    same altitude about 30 s earlier, but far apart horizontally.
    
    I would not be surprised to learn that U.S. Spacecom is tracking 01033B
    accurately, but as an uncorrelated target (UCT), with an 8XXXX catalogue
    number, in which case it likely is being considered in collision-avoidance
    computations.
    
    In my opinion, U.S. Spacecom does a difficult job well; the apparent
    loss/mix-up concerning 01033B is yet another reminder of human fallibility.
    
    Ted Molczan
    
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