Decay of Lunar Prospector Athena 2 rocket

Alan Pickup (alan@wingar.demon.co.uk)
Wed, 7 Jan 1998 12:04:33 +0000

Despite suggestions that it could survive for a week, the final stage of
the Athena 2 rocket (the Orbit Adjust Module) which launched Lunar
Prospector has probably already decayed.

The available elsets for this are:
Lunar Prosp. Athena 2 r                          198 x 141 km
1 25132U 98001B   98007.14943704  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0    11
2 25132  29.2503 318.4165 0043284 221.6741 138.1067 16.38540501    18
Lunar Prosp. Athena 2 r                          176 x 127 km
1 25132U 98001B   98007.27104898  .37608554  00000-0  45280-3 0    29
2 25132  29.2507 317.4414 0037737 224.5933 135.2144 16.45547360    33
Lunar Prosp. Athena 2 r                          168 x 115 km
1 25132U 98001B   98007.33161476  .33442496  00000-0  22452-3 0    35
2 25132  29.2493 316.9477 0039940 224.6661 135.1235 16.49211591    46

Unless further elsets appear and prove me wrong, my analysis suggests
that decay occurred towards the end of the latter orbit over the Indian
Ocean at about 09:20 UTC near 9 deg S, 54 deg E.

Alan
-- 
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