RE: LAGEOS reentry

From: Dale Ireland (
Date: Tue Aug 31 2010 - 16:59:15 UTC

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    Hi Yes, it is brass. I was looking for information on the original tracking
    station on Huahine that I visited and read some early articles on the LAGEOS
    that said it was "planned" to have a depleted uranium core. The ranging site
    was pretty cool in 1986. The laser and observatory that I put up photos for
    and a control room that was two refrigerated semi truck boxes full of
    surplus Apollo mission computers and consoles that would now probably fit on
    two laptops. I have some photos around. The really sad thing is that when
    the station was discontinued and a new one built on the island of Tahiti all
    this equipment was deemed surplus but not worth returning to the US so the
    US government in their infinite wisdom took the fine scopes and.... Dumped
    them in the ocean ! Anyway that is the story I got on my next visit.
    So, the question remains...
    Any idea how this thing will eventually reenter? Will it circle for days or
    months as a glowing ball in the upper atmosphere? Will it become more
    eccentric and make some really deep dives into the atmosphere before decay?
    Will it still have some orbital velocity when it hits the dirt or just
    terminal atmospheric velocity whatever that might be?
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