re: TiPS's NORAD#

Alphonse POUPLIER (
Sun, 25 May 1997 23:39:29 +0200 (MET DST)

>Alphonse asked...
>>Who knows why gives
>>00006 instead of 23937 as NORAD# ?
>>My pleasure, avec plaisir,  Alphonse
>The TiPS website has a link to their e-mail address at
>, so I asked this same question a few
>weeks ago and got back this reply...
>>   On the NORAD number being 00006, that is an artifact of the
>>procedure we use to get the elements onto the web page.  We get the
>>elements from Naval Space Command in a 1-line element set then run a
>>conversion program to generate the 2-line sets.  The 1-line format only
>>has 2 digits available to Satellite ID's, and for reasons unknown, TiPS
>>shows up as 06.  There also is (or was, I've lost track) a security issue
>>concerning the official ID and how that relates back to the host vehicle.
>>By leaving the 06, we've not had to worry about that.  I've not heard
>>anything of the number being 23937, the only other two ID number's I've
>>heard of are in the US Space Command analyst set, and they are 86399 for
>>Norton and 86398 for Ralph.  I'm not sure exactly why US Space Command
>>chose to implement two ID numbers, though might speculate that they were
>>planning on the tether breaking.
>The TiPS personnel at the Navy Research Lab are eager to hear from
>TiPS observers.  Here's another snippet of e-mail I received from
>them regarding the differences between the elements published at
>thier website vs. the elements available elsewhere...
>>...I'm not surprised that there's a difference between ours
>>and theirs, a large area of our research on this project involves
>>improving the operational tracking techniques of tethered satellites.
>>The elements we use are created from observations of one mass or the
>>other, neither of which are technically in an orbit.  Is easy to
>>see how this creates noisy elements with plenty of room for improvement.
>> Also wanted to ask you to please let us know if you notice anything
>>unusual with TiPS, including not being able to find it when you think
>>you should.  We've been thinking about how we'd know when the tether is
>>finally cut, and may very well first hear about it from observers such
>>as yourself.  Also, if you're in touch with others that regularly
>>observe TiPS, we'd appreciate hearing from them also if they notice
>>anything unusual going on with the tether.
> Craig Cholar    3432P@VM1.CC.NPS.NAVY.MIL
> Marina, California
> 36 41' 10.3" N,  121 48' 17.9" W     (+36.6862, -121.8050)      UTC -7

All that is very interesting.
I use a little program I made which converts automaticaly

1 00006U 00000  A 97139.67361111 -.00000509  00000 0  -6360-2 0 0000
2 00006  63.4281   8.6571 0032816 359.8963  32.2451 13.63961421 4397

(given by


TiPS             3.5  0.0  0.0  5.6 d
1 23937U 00000  A 97139.67361111 -.00000509  00000 0  -6360-2 0 0000
2 23937  63.4281   8.6571 0032816 359.8963  32.2451 13.63961421 4397

My pleasure, avec plaisir,  Alphonse
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