re: TLE questions

Philip Chien (kc4yer@amsat.org)
Wed, 19 Mar 1997 10:59:26 -0500

"ROB MATSON" <ROBERT.D.MATSON@cpmx.saic.com>
>
>To anyone who might know, I'm curious about the following entry in EL970308:
>
>1996-064A
>1 24656U 96064  A 96321.91676931  .00629804  15893-4  10000-3 0   164
>2 24656  51.7378  17.3247 0447172 173.4923 162.4622 17.47029567    16
>
>Obviously this object, which based on the inclination appears to have been
>associated with Mir (a Progress or Soyuz), is no longer in orbit.  But I'm
>curious about the high mean motion, and also why it's still retained after
>more than 3 months.

Actually it's the Mars 96 probe/upper stage!


>                        WEEKLY SATELLITE SITUATION REPORT
>    ---------------------------------------------------------------------
>                                                   Date: November 21, 1996
>
>                  Period: November 14 through November 20
>
>
>                         Newly Cataloged Objects
>
>
>INTERNATIONAL          CATALOG OBJECT  LAUNCH  PERIOD  INCLI-  APOGEE PERIGEE
>IDENTIFIER     NAME    NUMBER  SOURCE   DATE   MINS.   NATION    KM     KM
>
>1996 064A   MARS 96    24656    CIS    16 NOV    86.8   51.4      121    114

obviously the reason it was in such a low orbit is that it didn't stay in
space too long since the upper stage failed.

Given the date it's probably a legitimate element set for one of the final
orbits before its reentry.  But I haven't the faintest idea why it would
still be listed in any current the element sets.



Philip Chien [M1959.05.31/31.145//KC4YER@amsat.org]