Apparent third object in formation with NOSS 3-3

From: Ted Molczan (molczan@rogers.com)
Date: Sat Mar 12 2005 - 16:28:15 EST

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    I have received an observation report from a SeeSat-L subscriber of a third
    object in apparent formation with the NOSS 3-3 payloads on 2005 Mar 12 near. The
    report was intended for the list, but did not make it through for technical
    reasons. Hopefully, it will be successfully reposted.
    
    Probably the object in question will turn out unrelated to NOSS 3-3 - perhaps
    debris from an earlier NOSS launch - but just in case, I have created a search
    orbit that roughly agrees with the observation.
    
    1 70000U          05034.38791129  .00000011  00000-0  20000-4 0    00
    2 70000  63.4329 162.1832 0130000 182.0206 178.0382 13.42489000    02
    
    The above epoch is near the first ascending node of 05004A after launch on 2005
    Feb 03 UTC. The mean motion is that required for a nearby related object to have
    lapped the known payloads by last night. 
    
    The plane of the above orbit precesses slightly faster than that of the
    payloads, which puts it nearly 0.3 deg west of them today, in rough agreement
    with the observations.
    
    The above mean motion is similar to that of the Centaur near that epoch, so
    perhaps it is Centaur debris. Here is a relevant search orbit:
    
    1 70001U          05036.17575053  .00000018  00000-0  30000-4 0    04
    2 70001  63.8260 157.9889 0139000 179.7198 180.3928 13.42508500    06
    
    The plane of this one is now well east of the NOSS, but it is in rough agreement
    with the observation.
    
    The 70000 orbit seems the better match of the two.
    
    I believe it would be worth making a brief planar search within 5 or 10 minutes
    of the above orbits.
    
    Ted Molczan
    
    
    
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