12044A / 38744: altitude increasing?

From: Ted Molczan (ssl3molcz@rogers.com)
Date: Thu Aug 09 2012 - 10:38:04 UTC

  • Next message: Bob Christy: "Re: 12044A / 38744: altitude increasing?"

    The latest three USSTRATCOM TLEs of 12044A / 38744 exhibited consecutive small increases in altitude. I refer to the
    three TLEs ending with that of epoch 12222.23327559. Earlier TLEs exhibited large variations of rate of decay, which I
    initially attributed to the typical process of converging to a more or less steady rate of decay. I now suspect that the
    object may be thrusting, perhaps due to leakage of propellants.
    Observations by Russell Eberst and Mike Waterman reveal the object to be fairly bright:
    Ted Molczan
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