Iridium lost

Eberst (
Fri, 1 May 1998 19:07:42 +0200

Mention has been made already about the loss of Iridium 20.
At 01:55 U.T. on May 1, I spotted a flashing satellite going southwards in the
western sky. It has later been identified as Iridium 18 (97-34C). I know that
occasionally designations for these Iridiums get exchanged, so this may be
the same object.  Its appearance is very similar to Iridium 27 (97-51D),
except that it is higher - it completes 14.345 revs/day, and may have suffered
failure when being manoeuvred away from the standard 14.342.. revs/day orbit.
It can easily be mistaken for flashing airplane lights, flashes occuring about
once a second.
best wishes  Russell  Eberst  @   North: 55 degrees, 56 minutes, 55 seconds
             West:  3 degrees, 8 minutes, 18 seconds: 
             43metres (150 feet) above sea-level