Re: Online 1989 report of "repeating point flash" phenomenon

Phillip Clark (
Wed, 21 Jul 1999 10:18:49 +0100 (BST)

On Wed, 21 Jul 1999, Ed Cannon wrote:
> Also, I meant to mention yesterday that I did not see any of the
> Okean-O debris objects for which I had predictions, so I guess 
> they aren't quite as large as the Zenit or the payload....

The four pieces of debris appear on all Zenit-2 launches and are in 
orbits with perigees close to the satellite altitude but with apogees a 
few hundred km higher.   These are the covers for the four small 
(solid propellant, I assume) separation motors which are used to push the 
Zenit-2 second stage away from the deployed payload.   Since these are 
probably only an few cm in diameter and have the same depth, I would 
assume that they would be reasonably faint objects.

In the "good ol' days" before the Russians announced launch vehicles, the 
presence of these four objects was taken by "Soviet space watchers" as 
being the fingerprint of a Zenit-2 launch.

Phillip Clark

Phillip S Clark                                       25 Redfern Avenue
Molniya Space Consultancy                             Whitton
Compiler/Publisher, Worldwide Satellite Launches      Middx   TW4 5NA

Specialist in "space archeology" - the older and more obscure the more 
interesting it is !