Decay watch: 2000 Jan 22

From: Alan Pickup (alan@wingar.demon.co.uk)
Date: Sat Jan 22 2000 - 15:55:54 PST

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    #7969 = 75- 56 B = Cosmos 744 rocket
    No further elsets were issued after I posted a note with my prediction
    of the imminent decay of this at Jan 22 16:55 +-90m. If it had survived,
    the track would have taken it near Los Angeles and San Diego at 17:03
    UTC, Las Vegas at 17:04, Boise, Idaho, at 17:06 and Calgary, Alberta, at
    17:08. However, there are only negative reports from this area (for
    which, thanks). In its subsequent final decay notice for this, SpaceCom
    reports a decay time of Jan 22 16:56 +-44m at 15.0 S, 123.1 W. the final
    elset was:
    Cosmos 744 r     3.8  2.6  0.0  5.1 v 11.1       138 x 126 km
    1 07969U 75056B   00022.65461921  .18086513 -86473-6  13593-3 0   781
    2 07969  81.2355 253.7183 0009619 160.9935 257.5662 16.52740985354152
    
    
    #13964 = 83- 25 A = Molniya 1-57
    This decay has slipped sharply over the past day, a feature I have
    noticed before with decaying Molniyas and something I have suggested
    might be due to the detachment of solar panels during the stresses of
    deep perigee passes. This would have the effect of reducing the cross-
    sectional area and the drag, at the expense of only a relatively small
    reduction in mass. I now show decay at Jan 24 08:27 +-12h while SpaceCom
    has joined in again with Jan 24 07:33 +-1d.
    
    
    #26044 = 99- 73 C = Cosmos 2368 Molniya platform
    This probably came down a little more quickly than I expected near the
    end. My prediction for the final orbit is:
    C 2368 Moln pl   3.0  0.0  0.0  5.5 d    9       146 x 118 km
    1 26044U 99073C   00022.16668769  .61578710  39514+1  37155-3 0 90976
    2 26044  62.8100 235.9057 0021613 118.0425 242.1763 16.52850146  4030
    I think that the decay was most likely as it approached the end of this
    rev, possibly on a track over Africa from southern Namibia at 05:19 UTC
    to its northbound equator crossing near Lake Victoria at 05:27. The
    nominal decay time I calculate is Jan 22 05:20 +-1h near 25.4 S, 20.8 E.
    SpaceCom puts the decay further S, at Jan 22 05:14 +-1h and 57.7 S, 16.7
    W, but both predictions are consistent given the one hour uncertainties.
    
    More details at http://www.wingar.demon.co.uk/satevo/dkwatch/
    
    
    Alan
    -- 
     Alan Pickup | COSPAR 2707:  55d53m48.7s N  3d11m51.2s W   156m asl
     Edinburgh   | Tel: +44 (0)131 477 9144     Fax: +44 (0)870 0520750
     Scotland    | SatEvo page:   http://www.wingar.demon.co.uk/satevo/
    
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