NOSS 3-2 (A) has raised its orbit

From: Ted Molczan (molczan@rogers.com)
Date: Thu Dec 25 2003 - 12:51:29 EST

  • Next message: Russell Eberst: "DEC25.OBS"

    Russell Eberst observed the object on 2003 Dec 24 at 17:17 UTC, about 10 s late,
    2 days after the epoch of my latest elements:
    
    NOSS 3-2 (A)     0.0  0.0  0.0  4.9 v
    1 28095U 03054A   03356.68396494  .00000058  00000-0  10000-3 0    02
    2 28095  63.4406 252.0404 0128618 180.2675 179.8302 13.40610679    08
    
    Further observations are required to determine the new mean motion. 
    
    It is almost certain that the intended final mean motion is near 13.4044 rev/d.
    A manoeuvre to that orbit about one day before Russell's observation would
    explain the late arrival, but so would earlier, smaller manoeuvres.
    
    Russell did not report on 03054C, but it needs to raise its orbit by about as
    much as 03054A - and reduce the time by which it trails 03054A from the recent
    64 s, to about 6 s.  Raising its orbit runs counter to catching up to 03054A, so
    03054A is likely to raise its orbit first, resulting in a lower velocity
    relative 03054C, enabling it to catch up.
    
    As I have noted earlier, the NOSS 3-2 duo have been making much rapid progress
    toward their final orbits than the NOSS 3-1 duo, so I would not be surprised if
    most of the remaining manoeuvres are completed within the next several days.
    
    The Titan IV-launched NOSS were deployed into their final orbits about 28 days
    after launch. I can imagine the design specification for the Atlas 2AS-launched
    NOSS requiring deployment be completed within the same time period, in which
    case, the NOSS 3-2 manoeuvres would be completed by Dec 30.
    
    The NOSS 3-1 duo took nearly 7 months, perhaps due to the unspecified spacecraft
    problem soon after launch, reported by U.S. News and World Report on 2003 Aug
    11.
    
    I may be able to observe tonight.
    
    Merry Christmas!
    Ted Molczan
    
    
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