Sat, 13 Jun 98 03:10:08

I'll take a stab at it.

The Orbital Information Group (OIG) is the source for unclassified 
Earth satellite elements and various satellite reports. This information 
is made available to the general public via the Internet.

For many years (probably less than 10) OIG provided this information on 
their BBS either by telephone or by telnet. A couple of years ago they 
developed their web site which was a bad impersonation of the information 
made available on the BBS. A couple of months ago they upgraded the 
services on the web site and dropped telephone service to their BBS. On 
June 30 the telnet BBS will no longer be available. The OIG web site will 
provide all the information (and more supposedly) presently provided by 
the BBS. Sounds great, doesn't it?

Unfortunately, most TLE providers on the NET access the data from the BBS 
via scripted telnet. Basically this allows them to automate specific 
downloads from the BBS database with very little manual operation. Some 
TLE providers provide the full (well, almost full) element database found 
on the BBS. Another words, the elements for +8000 satellite elements (not 
including classified US satellites). Now you won't find this service on 
either the BBS or the new OIG web site. When the BBS goes away, so will 
access to the +8000 elements in batch form EXCEPT (hopefully) to those 
provided by Phil Clark/Dave Ransom.

Some of us feel this is a disservice to the visual satellite enthusiast.
Evidently the OIG database will be made available to certain 
corporations, and foreign programs. The administrator at OIG says they 
will make allowances to certain users to access more than the standard 
100 daily element allotment allowed to you and me.

Why should the database be limited to one provider (Clark/Ransom) for the 
general public on the NET?
Don't get me wrong, I DO appreciate what Phil Clark and Dave Ransom are
doing for the satellite observers with their service.

I don't think much difference will be noted after June 30 (thanks to the 
various TLE providers out there on the NET) who will have to change the 
way how they obtain elements for us observers. At least that's my hope.

NO, the OIG is not run by any of us here on the list. It is run by NASA's 
Goddard Space Flight Center personnel under contract with NASA.

I hope this helps. Do I get 10 points ;-) You can find links to various 
TLE providers at
(the 2 is optional)

By the way, for those new to this service, SeeSat has developed an FAQ
for newcomers. Information on how to access this can be found at (you 
guessed it)

Jeff Hunt <>
(leaving his soap box for others to use;-)

--- On Fri, 12 Jun 1998 21:39:12 +0300  Grzegorz Koralewski 
<> wrote:

>Hi guys,
>Would you please explain something to me,....