Re: Geos 6 AKM (83 41C)

Mike McCants (mikem@fc.net)
Fri, 14 Mar 1997 00:15:55 -0600 (CST)

Philip Chien wrote:

>83 41C is the one which puzzles me.  This is a GOES geosynchronous weather
>satellite launch on a Delta 3914 launch vehicle.  The A object is the
>satellite which is still in geosynchronous orbit, but with a fairly high
>inclination.  The B object is the second stage which has almost certainly
>reentered by now.

No, it's still going.  With a perigee of 400Km, it's decaying only
very slowly.

1 14051U 83041B   97066.01056855 +.00000941 +00000-0 +84332-4 0 08161
2 14051 025.3421 298.4891 1341376 212.2087 138.9082 12.53402700625376

>The C object is the third stage.  On a 3914 model it's a TE-334 (or
>something like that) solid motor which is spin stabilized.
>
>32978.210 km perigee
>
>Both well above geosynchronous altitude.

No, geosynchronous altitude is about 35800Km.

>Was this an unusual launch
>profile which was used to test out ways of saving propellant?

It would seem so.  A 1989 SSR gives period 1703 minutes, apogee 54325,
perigee 27405, inclination 1.2 degrees.  So the orbit has circularized
to a certain extent in the last 8 years.

I did a "grep" on "AKM" and came up with:

11970 80-074C  GOES 4 AKM            US   1767.3   0.1 49744 34341
14069 83-041C  GOES 6 AKM            US   1707.4  14.6 48907 32976
20801 78-062D  GOES 3 AKM            US   1451.1  13.8 39931 32228  20.0
20835 75-011F  SMS 2 AKM             US   1460.6  15.0 36693 35837
20837 81-057F  METEOSAT 2 AKM (MAGE  ESA  1449.0  12.0 36344 35733
21052 69-069D  ATS 5 AKM             US   1466.7  15.4 36921 35845
22987 94-004C  STAR 37FM AKM         US   3071.5  67.1 127021  211

Plus some others that were not interesting.

So it would seem that the GOES 4 AKM was in a very similar orbit.
But it was lost soon after launch:

1 11970U 80074C   80281.92956226 -.00000228 +00000-0 +10000-3 0 05798
2 11970 000.0797 299.7585 1590582 040.3925 013.6248 00.81481105000249

----

Flashes from Superbird A this evening at 3:11:00 (+/- 30 seconds)
(March 14, 1997 UT)

----

16144, 85 94G, Cosmos 1690 Rk continues to accelerate very slowly.
I measured a 28 second period.  In another decade, it will be going
quite fast.  :-)

----

21990, 92 32B, Intelsat K Rk was interesting at a height of 260 miles
(420Km).  It seemed to have a period of 14 seconds, but perhaps it
was 28 seconds.

----

I can't tell any difference between 96 9A,B,C,D,E,F.  Cosmos or Gonets,
they all look the same.  The SSR now says:

23787 96-009A  GONETS D1 1           CIS   113.9  82.6  1413  1401   2.8
23788 96-009B  GONETS D1 2           CIS   114.0  82.6  1414  1408   1.5
23789 96-009C  GONETS D1 3           CIS   114.1  82.6  1415  1411   1.6
23790 96-009D  UNK                   CIS   114.1  82.6  1417  1409   2.9
23791 96-009E  COSMOS 2329           CIS   114.2  82.6  1423  1411   1.2
23792 96-009F  COSMOS 2330           CIS   114.2  82.6  1429  1411   .77

But these names are reversed from what it said a year ago.

It also says:

24725 97-006A  UNKNOWN               CIS   114.2  82.6  1423  1413
24726 97-006B  UNKNOWN               CIS   114.2  82.6  1429  1413
24727 97-006C  UNKNOWN               CIS   114.0  82.6  1414  1409
24728 97-006D  UNKNOWN               CIS   114.0  82.6  1414  1402
24729 97-006E  UNKNOWN               CIS   114.1  82.6  1415  1413
24730 97-006F  UNKNOWN               CIS   114.1  82.6  1415  1412

So maybe NORAD also doesn't have a clue.

Mike McCants
mikem@fc.net