Babylon 1 minor orbit change?

Philip Chien (
Thu, 17 Jun 1999 17:06:47 -0400

>Report # 22
> 2 p.m. CDT, Thursday, June 17, 1999
> Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas
>International Space Station flight controllers prepared to maneuver the
>slightly last weekend to avoid a possible close pass by orbital debris, but
>the maneuver was not carried out and ultimately was not required as the debris
>passed a harmless distance from the station early Sunday morning.
>While monitoring the health of systems on board through Russian ground
>and the newly repaired early communications system, flight controllers were
>notified by the U.S. Air Force Space Command of a possible close approach of a
>spent Russian rocket body upper stage.  While this is not a routine
>it is an event that flight controllers deal with from time to time, as has
>the case infrequently during the Space Shuttle program.
>Early predictions showed the closest approach of the debris to the ISS would
>be within 1 kilometer, but the actual distance at the time of its closest
>approach on Sunday morning was 7 kilometers.
>Flight controllers planned to maneuver the station Saturday night, but the
>uplinked procedure for maneuvering had one of the Zarya module's engines
>firing longer than is permitted by the module's onboard computer program.
>Therefore, Zarya's motion control system correctly canceled the burn
>automatically and the maneuver was not performed.

I haven't checked to see just when this maneuver was to have taken place,
what the object was in orbit which they would have maneuvered to avoid, or
whether or not there was any change to the orbit.

Anybody have more details?

ABC News apparently has a story overblowing it on tonight's (Thursday Jun
17) news ...

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