USA 144 elements; photometric timings needed

From: Ted Molczan (molczan@rogers.com)
Date: Sat Jan 18 2003 - 16:03:27 EST

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    Arc 2002 Dec 27 - 2003 Jan 17 UTC:
    
    USA 144          0.0  0.0  0.0  3.6 v
    1 25744U 99028A   03017.82938300 -.00000054  00000-0 -82890-2 0    07
    2 25744  63.4491 297.9205 0239216 293.8148  63.7769  9.69791794    02
    
    WRMS error = 0.008 deg
    
    SRP (Solar Radiation Pressure) will continue to raise the altitude of the orbit until 2003 Feb 03 UTC.
    
    From Feb 03 through Mar 15, the orbit will be in constant sunlight, resulting in near zero SRP effect on altitude.
    
    Accurate timings of the object's photometric may be helpful in settling the question of this object's identity. As I reported last
    August, the magnitude of the SRP effects raise serious doubts as to the identity and nature of this object:
    
    http://satobs.org/seesat/Aug-2002/0045.html
    
    The object correlates strongly with the 99028A launch; however, based on its apparent size and the SRP effects, its mass appears to
    be no more than 10 percent of the expected mass of the payload. It could be debris or even a decoy.
    
    Here are the most recent photometric timings:
    
           Observer                    Photometric Period - seconds
    ------------------------------   --------------------------------
    2002 Aug 10 Pierre Neirinck      119 +/- 6
    2002 Aug 22 Ted Molczan          116.3
    2002 Aug 31 Ted Molczan          113.8
    
    Earlier timings are listed at the above URL.
    
    The object's slow rotation and deep minima make accurate timing a challenge. At times I thought I saw small, very brief secular
    flashes that could provide a reference for timings.
    
    Ted Molczan
    
    
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