RE: Strange element sets

From: Phillip Clark (
Date: Tue May 02 2000 - 07:59:50 PDT

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    On Tue, 2 May 2000, Ted Molczan wrote:
    > In partial response to Phil Clark's question, the two 57 deg inclination
    > element sets bear a superficial resemblance to the orbit of 89061D, which is
    > known to have broken up. Jonathan McDowell's compilation of U.N. orbit filings,
    > shows the periods and orbital dimensions of many such pieces.
    Looking back at my 1996-1997 issue of Worldwide Satellite Launches, on
    page 162 I comment:-
    "There has been some speculation that 23932 at 57 deg might be some debris
    from the classified launch of USA 40 (1989-061B/20167) which was launched
    into this orbital inclination.   There is a great deal of debris
    catalogued from this launch (no orbital data issued) and the monthly
    Goddard Satellite Situation Report lists these objects as 'rocket body
    debris' from the USA 40 launch, suggesting that the rocket stage
    disintegrated in orbit."
    But what about the sets of data for the objects in 27-28 deg orbits ? -
    from the 1996 data surely that would have decayed by now, especially if it
    is debris.
    Phillip Clark
    Phillip S Clark                                     22 Winterbourne Close
    Molniya Space Consultancy                           Hastings
    Compiler/Publisher, Worldwide Satellite Launches    E Sussex  TN34 1XG
    Specialist in "space archeology" - the older and more obscure the more 
    interesting it is !
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