Re: Rocket debris (Galaxy 7 launch)

Agapov Vladimir (
Mon, 16 Feb 1998 16:58:34 +0300 (MSK)

It seems that obj. # 25150 and 25151 are pieces of the Ariane 3rd stage
possible fragmentation. There are 6 known fragmentation events of the
Ariane 3rd stages. These are for 79104,86019 launches of Ariane 1,
87-078 launch of Ariane 3, 91-003, 91-015 and 92-021 launches of Araine 4.
Pieces of the Ariane 3rd stage 1991-003C were cataloged last year as
objects 24722-24724,24741 and 24750 despite of they've been tracking
by the U.S. SSN since early May of 1996. So, I assume, new objects
may have relations to new Ariane 3rd stage fragmentation. Passivation
measures were begun in 1993 for GTO Ariane missions and since that time
there were no fragmentations of 3rd stages. But 25150 and 25151 are
from 1992-072 launch, i.e. prior to special measures were begun and
it may caused break-up event.

To the point, pieces of old break-up events in GEO were cataloged last
year two. These are two pieces (SSN catalog #25000 and 25001) of
Transtage 68-081 launch, and one piece (SSN catalog #11581, reassigned
from 63014DF to 77092H, see satw52 report on 1997) of Ekran-2 explosion
on June 23, 1978. It's interesting that both explosions were discovered
during routine observation of parent objects by optical stations of
the U.S. SSN (in the first case) and Russian SSN (in the second one).

Vladimir Agapov.