Re: NRO Atlas launch

Mir16609 (
Tue, 27 Jan 1998 21:27:45 EST

In a message dated 98-01-27 16:52:30 EST, you write:
>  Philip Chien [M1959.05.31/31.145//]

>  It always amazes me how much the NRO tries to keep secret, and promptly
>  gives away.  Through legitimate laws of physics - not speculation - I've
>  got absolute confirmation of the orbit for the payload - unless the NRO has
>  a waiver from Isaac Newton ...
The orbital elements for NORAD 25018 are being updated by USSPACECOM.   
This was the r/b that put a payload into orbit that the NRO acknowledged was 
theirs.  The inclination and an estimated altitude for the payload were easy
derive from that launch.

[25018, as it turned out, is a fairly interesting flasher to observe as well]

That alone would seem like a trend is towards less secrecy.   

It will be interesting to see if the elements from this r/b will be made

Don Gardner
76.8419 W, 39.1796 N,  34m ASL