Upcoming Orbcomm Pegasus XL Launch

Rosenberg.Eric (rosenberg.eric@Orbcomm.COM)
Wed, 10 Dec 97 16:21:59 -0500

As many of you know, Orbcomm will be launching its next eight LEO
satellites this coming week on a Pegasus XL launch vehicle (with HAPS
stage).

The launch was planned for Thursday, 11 December, but has been postponed
until at least Monday, 15 December due to weather and other constraints.
The L-1011 is still in California, prevented by weather from traveling
east to the Wallops Island launch site with the rocket and satellites
all integrated and ready to go). 

The drop time of the Pegasus XL from the L-1011 (i.e., launch time) is
fixed at 2 p.m. EST (1900 UTC) on  the day chosen. Separation of the
eight satellites (A1 - A8 plus HAPS) should begin approximately 50 minutes 
later while approaching and flying over Australia. 

The element set attached below has an epoch somewhere after the last
satellite and HAPS separation (drop + 70 minutes). Backtime approx 
10-20 minutes for the first satellite's separation location:


Orbcomm A1
1 99901U 97123ABC 97347.84094009 +.00000000 +00000+0 +00000+0 0000016
2 99901  45.0015 165.2722 0002373 327.7834  44.9418 14.19574382000014


The satellites should be transmitting on 137.56  MHz randomly in 1/16th
second bursts at the time. The modulation is OQPSK at 57.6 kbps - a wide
signal! They will likely transmit over each other, as the
synchronization process won't happen until they each contact a Gateway
Earth Station in the USA. 

As we will not be able to hear the satellites until they reach  the USA
and our Washington gateway earth station approximately 20 minutes later,
we would be anxious to know if any of you in the Seesat/Hearsat/AMSAT
community located in Australia or in the Pacific see or hear them before
we do. 

As we've done in the past, the first few people  to hear and/or see the
satellites and report it to me will be sent mission patches, T-shirts,
and/or hats as I can squeeze them out of upper management!

I'll try and post detailed and hopefully timely launch information as I
get it. 

Thanks in advance,

Eric 

--
Eric Rosenberg
NOTE NEW EMAIL ADDRESS: rosenberg.eric@orbcomm.com