Changes in orbital elements for 19851 and 20362

Mike McCants (mikem@freeside.fc.net)
Sat, 20 Jun 1998 09:22:03 -0500 (CDT)

The following elements were issued for Meteor 2-18 (89 19A):

1 19851U 89018A   98161.79886823 +.00000093 +00000-0 +69285-4 0 06472
2 19851 082.5202 064.1002 0015516 102.1124 258.1772 13.84461557468944
1 19851U 89018A   98162.95519429 +.00000361 +00000-0 +30879-3 0 06481
2 19851 082.5217 063.1801 0015081 098.6001 261.6935 13.84465924469118

A gap of 4 1/2 days.

1 19851U 89018A   98167.50731997  .00017736  00000-0  15683-1 0  6481
2 19851  82.5192  59.5500 0014662  88.1153 272.1700 13.84830335469738

The mean motion has changed and the drag term is too high for
a normal object with this perigee height.

1 19851U 89018A   98170.90310845  .00008308  00000-0  73424-2 0  6533
2 19851  82.5212  56.8387 0014632  78.6996 281.5770 13.84875756470212

The drag remains too high, indicating that this is a small piece
of debris.  I do not remember any unusual events with Meteor payloads.

------

The following elements were issued for a Navstar Delta rocket:

1 20362U 89097B   98166.88235139 +.00000777 +00000-0 +81191-4 0 08236
2 20362 035.6381 113.3414 0272656 261.4978 095.4825 14.67157849455248

The above elset is "normal".

The following elsets show strange changes in mean motion (both
positive and negative) and a drag term that is 60 and then 20 times
larger than before.  My guess is that these elsets represent several
different small pieces of debris.

1 20362U 89097B   98167.90298834  .00049252  00000-0  48330-2 0  8058
2 20362  35.6344 107.4895 0273019 269.4689  87.5072 14.67387651455483
1 20362U 89097B   98168.03910188  .00043131  00000-0  42312-2 0  8061
2 20362  35.6358 106.6885 0273220 270.5079  86.4671 14.67367225455509
1 20362U 89097B   98168.10718996 +.00012527 +00000-0 +12629-2 0 08289
2 20362 035.6387 106.3228 0268490 272.0728 084.9410 14.67270322455426
1 20362U 89097B   98168.24328476  .00012725  00000-0  12844-2 0  8070
2 20362  35.6387 105.5438 0268143 273.1639  83.8426 14.67275622455443
1 20362U 89097B   98169.19593997 +.00016596 +00000-0 +16608-2 0 08181
2 20362 035.6407 100.0874 0269591 280.1825 076.8583 14.67327165455584
1 20362U 89097B   98169.26398773  .00016528  00000-0  16529-2 0  8080
2 20362  35.6406  99.6979 0269731 280.7176  76.3263 14.67328839455593
1 20362U 89097B   98170.14862951 +.00014187 +00000-0 +14155-2 0 08221
2 20362 035.6410 094.6287 0270393 287.9044 069.2355 14.67339462455726
1 20362U 89097B   98170.21667746  .00014175  00000-0  14141-2 0  8091
2 20362  35.6410  94.2388 0270418 288.4571  68.6922 14.67341299455738
1 20362U 89097B   98170.89715449  .00015840  00000-0  15780-2 0  8101
2 20362  35.6416  90.3400 0270444 294.2849  63.0099 14.67369996455837
1 20362U 89097B   98171.23743203  .00010813  00000-0  10587-2 0  8115
2 20362  35.6382  88.3696 0275221 297.8561  59.4527 14.67335441455889

There have been quite a few unusual events associated with Delta
rockets in the last few decades.  :-)

Mike McCants