Objects in GPS transfer orbit

Tony Beresford (starman@camtech.net.au)
Sun, 04 Jan 1998 22:13:30 +1000

Rob McNaught reported to me in private e-mail 
that while attending to his all-sky patrol camera
at Coonamble NSW ( -30.95S, 148.4E), at 10:18.2UT
on January 1, he noticed a very fast moving object of about mag 4
nearly overhead and moving to the SE. He used quicksat
and the December 18 copy of molcza.tle but didnt come up with a
match. I ran quicksat with the latest version of the alldat.tle
file from Mike McCant's ftp site, and did get a match
with 97 67C. The range was only 206KM . The elements of this
object are :-
97067C
1 25032U 97067C   97364.75937701 +.00091136 -60084-6 +95445-3 0 00625
2 25032 034.9942 167.5209 6016315 249.0834 039.1885 04.12272277002210
Its part of the process of launching GPS satellites. Its left in the
temporary transfer orbit when the GPS satellite circularizes and plane
changes its orbit to get to a working orbit. 
As you can see its an object in an eccentric orbit with wider visibility
near perigee than the Centaur rockets used to launch comsats from
Cape canaveral.
Tony Beresford