Two-Lines for USA Objects

Phillip Clark (
Sun, 14 Mar 1999 10:14:39 +0000 (GMT)

I am doing a cross-posting on this subject since the problem might
well be interested to FPSPACErs as well as SEESATters.

As previously noted, all two-line orbital elements for USA satellites
have been removed from the unclassified data which USSPACECOM supplies
to GSFC's OIG web site.   The problem is not with OIG - they are only
empowered to supply the information which USSPACECOM supplies to them,
albeit with a little reformatting (I believe), etc.

behind-the scenes, more diplomatic channels have failed to prevent
this action, and that unless users of the two-lines do raise the
problem with appropriate parties then all of the USA satellite data
will remain classified.

Of course, it is not a good idea to write to people with
ill-considered, undiplomatic ramblings which demand that all of the TLEs
(including Lacrosse, DSP and otjer satellites) be restored - that kind
of communication will just be ignored.   But it is possible that the
recent policy change might be (partially, at least) reversed of a
diplomatic and reasoned argument is used.

For myself, I am happy to take the stance that for security reasons it
is reasonable that data for some satellites be with-held.   On the
other hand, the Navstar satellites are used as part of a civilian
navigation system, and on that basis I feel that it is difficult to
justify the retention or orbital data for these satellites.

The chances of getting the policy change reversed are slim, but
perhaps with reasoned arguments it might be possible to make a
difference in "our" favour.

Phillip Clark

Phillip S Clark                                       25 Redfern Avenue
Molniya Space Consultancy                             Whitton
Compiler/Publisher, Worldwide Satellite Launches      Middx   TW4 5NA

Specialist in "space archeology" - the older and more obscure the more 
interesting it is !