Re: Upcoming decay of CZ-3 R/B

From: Bram Dorreman (bram.dorreman@gmail.com)
Date: Tue Jul 10 2012 - 10:17:56 UTC

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    Some days ago Kevin Fetter informed us about this decay be sending the link:
     http://www.aerospace.org/cords/reentry-predictions/upcoming-reentries/2011-073b/
    
    Without following this link I knew about this upcoming decay.
    How?
    
    On June 30th I received an e-mail from a fellow amateur who was
    observing variable star V450 Aql (19:33:46, +5:27:56) .
    Time was 23:59 (which is 21:59 UT) when a very slow moving satellite
    was nearby. No flashes and about magnitude +6.
    
    As usual I try to identify such objects. Observer was at 51°5'13"N en 4°30'37"E
    
    I had some trouble as I could not find a matching satellite. By using
    TLE's as short as possible to the observation time I
    eventually found a candidate: 2011-073B. By using TLE's from a day
    after of before, this object did not appear in the
    field of view and therefore I missed it.
    
    When I compared the perigee and apogee heights of this object it was
    not difficult to see it would soon decay.
    Epoch time June 30 at 7:10
    - perigee 95.3 km
    - apogee 7142.4 km
    Epoch time July 1 at 8:27
    - perigee 95.8 km
    -apogee 6244.1 km
    
    Bram Dorreman
    Site 4160: 51.27931 N, 5.47683 E, 35 m (WGS84)
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