Re: Unexpected satellites and other ramblings
Tue, 13 May 1997 21:42:53 -0700

Ron Lee wrote:

>What amazes me is the frequency of missing objects. Last night (12
>May local), I missed Celestis (#24780), the new DMSP flasher (#24777) 
>and the decaying Cosmos (#24763).

I have noticed this too.  I like to make sure my elements are very fresh
before observing so that a bad drag term will cause the least amount of
error.  It seems like a percentage of all elsets at OIG are bad.  Ask for
the 'latest five' elsets from the OIG BBS and chances are you'll see one
elset out of the five that doesn't fit in with the other four.  And so if
the 'oddball' elset happens to be the one that updates your master file...
but I'm speculating.  If anyone else can shed some analysis on this, please

>Also noticed in the most recent JSR that the delta booster that launched
>the Iridiums went into a higher orbit after the fuel depletion burn.
>Seems to me that a burn to lower the perigee would have made more 
>sense.  Let it burn up instead of staying in orbit where it "might"
>create more debris.

Can a discarded Delta booster be commanded/programmed to turn itself around
and fire a retro burn?

Jim Varney     Sacramento, CA
           121^ 23' 54" W,  38^ 27' 28" N