Re: AYAME r/b or ?

From: Mike McCants (
Date: Thu Jan 17 2008 - 00:19:58 UTC

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    Brad Young posted:
    >Well if I did see object 25776 79-9B N-1 R/B(2), it certainly has been an
    >object of discussion in the past, although I don't see any actual
    >observations of it...
    As Alice would say, curiouser and curiouser.
    Object 79-9A (11261): Launched on Feb. 6, 1979.
    One tle dated Feb. 9 period 1500 minutes, possibly wrong.
    The RAE Table (1989) says period 1380 minutes on Mar 1, 1979.
    Six more tles dated June-Nov, 1979 period 1351 minutes.
    Two more tles in 1980.  If these are correct, the payload
    made some small changes in orbit.
    Four tles in 1982.  Small changes or inaccurate tles?
    One tle in 1983 - period is now 1315 minutes.
    Three tles in 1985 consistent with 1983 tle.
    Eight tles in 1989 - still some small orbit changes?
    Some tles in 1990 and 1993 consistent with 1989 tles.
    No tles between 1994 and 2004.
    2005 to current - the eccentricity is much larger and the
    period is 854 minutes.  This seems like it ought to be a
    different object to me.
    Object 79-9B (11607):  Cataloged at the end of 1979.
    Very low earth orbit - decayed 4 days after launch on 2/10/79.
    Object 25776 is now listed as 79-9C, not B.
    It was first cataloged in 1999 with a period of 250 minutes.
    It has a low perigee and an inclination of 24 degrees.
    This seems to match the B object in the RAE Table (period
    625 minutes in 1979).
    I have one observation of 25776 in my file dated 2/2002.
    This observation indicates that it is a rather small object
    consistent with its RCS of 1.5.
    The note in the RAE Table says "contact lost when final stage
    collided with satellite".  My speculation is that the payload
    A object was lost in 1993 and the "missing" final stage was
    cataloged as the A object in 2005.   However, that would make
    all those small (and some not all that small) maneuvers over
    the years (1979 to 1983) quite impossible.
    Mike McCants
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