Re: Oldest SAT

Philip Chien (
Wed, 9 Jun 1999 10:27:12 -0400

JAY RESPLER <> said:

>Going with International ID, 1958 Beta 1 (5802A), Vanguard Rocket, is the
>oldest object in orbit. Also make sense.  First the rocket went into orbit,
>then released Vanguard into separate orbit. So I would say that Vanguard
>Rocket is the oldest object still in orbit.

Not really.  The satellite with its attached rocket enters orbit.  Then the
rocket body separates and is discarded.  For Sputnik 1 the rocket body got
the first designation and the satellite the second object.  But since then
the policy has been to give the primary designation to the satellite.
Which makes sense since it's the purpose for the launch in the first place.

>I've seen V2 and 3, and V1 rocket, but in spite of several attempts, I've
>never been able to catch V1 in a 8" scope.  Very frustrating.

Ah!  So that's why you want the rocket to be the oldest object!  How about
this - let's compromise and say the satellite and rocket both entered orbit
simultaneously so they're tied for the oldest objects still in orbit, even
though they've got separate designations.

BTW - personal piece of trivia for Jay.  The recently launched MULBCOM
satellite is managed in your neighborhood, Ft. Mountmouth.

Philip Chien, KC4YER
Earth News
world (in)famous writer, science fiction fan, ham radio operator,
all-around nice guy, etc.