USA 259 elements from observations

From: Ted Molczan via Seesat-l <>
Date: Fri, 9 Jan 2015 09:16:45 -0500
Mike McCants estimated the following TLE, based on observations last night by Marco Langbroek and Peter Wakelin:

                                                      2157 X 38203 km
1 40344U 14081A   15008.30745310 0.00000658  00000-0  00000-0 0    08
2 40344  62.8353 209.9706 6786240 266.8658  20.0582  2.00580740    04

Further observations are required to determine the exact orbit, but the mean motion slightly less than the ~2.006 rev/d
required for a repeating ground track is plausible, and there is a precedent in the case of Trumpet FO 1 (06027A /
29249), which maintained a similar mean motion for about a week prior to entering its initial repeating ground track.
The purpose almost certainly was to slightly adjust the longitude of ascending node to achieve the required value. 

14081A appears to be targeting approximately the present longitude of ascending node of 06027A, which has recently been
around 8.5 deg or 8.6 deg. If the intent is to exactly match longitude of ascending node, then the above orbit would
accomplish this in about a week. But this is mostly speculation, pending the cessation of manoeuvres and determination
of the precise elements.

Ted Molczan

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Received on Fri Jan 09 2015 - 08:17:31 UTC

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