Re: swarm of unknown objects

From: Mike McCants (
Date: Fri Feb 16 2007 - 18:07:56 EST

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    >USSPACECOM Catalog No.:	25054
    >International Designation Code:	1997-070F
    >SL-12 R/B (Aux Motor)
    The Orbital Debris Quarterly
    says that the Aux Motor object 20081 was the 34th object of this type
    to break up (Vol 10, Issue 3) and that object 26398 was the 35th object
    of this type to break up (Vol. 10, Issue 4).
    So I would assume that the break up of this object 25054 will be the 36th.
    It has often taken Spacecom about a month to catalog the first
    group of 20 to 50 pieces from such an event.
    >is 261km low enough that it might be in
    >the range of dipping into the atmosphere severely enough to break
    >apart a rocket body?
    I do not think so.  These break ups are spontaneous, so the perigee
    height is not important in this case.
    The prediction for this object at the time of observation was:
    Altitude 53 degrees, Azimuth 192 degrees, Range 7800 miles = 12500 Km.
    Predicted magnitude was about 12.  Intrinsic magnitude is about 6.5
    for 1/2 phase, 1000 Km.  The current tles for object 25054 should
    be close enough to see these objects.
    Mike McCants
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