Iridium 75 / satellites carrying atomic reactors

From: Dennis Hennig (
Date: Thu Aug 23 2001 - 06:53:23 PDT

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    Hello List
    Yesterday (22.Aug.2001),
    sitting relaxed in the nearby park,
    we observed Iridium 75 flaring
    *very bright* (-7mag predicted by HA)
    at 20.00.40 UTC exactly in time.
    I tried to catch it on film.
    After this observation we continued to discuss about
    different satellite topics and somehow it came up that
    there are satellites with atomic reactors "up there" which
    will decay in the atmosphere for sure.
    I read about cosmos 954 which came down
    in Canada in 1978, spreading itīs 40+something
    kilogram of enriched Uranium over the landscape.
    I remember suggestions here at this list about a
    satellite with "coma", because it lost
    itīs atomic reactors cooling agent into space.
    Who knows, how many reactors are up there?
    Embedded in what satellites?
    Any plans to bring them back safely? :-)
    How, in general, it was possible to solve the
    (veeery heavy) radiation shielding which made
    reactor driven aircrafts obsolete
    (because they where too heavy to lift off...)?
    Thanks in advance
    somewhere about 52.5N 13.4E
    GMX - Die Kommunikationsplattform im Internet.
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