Dodecapole and GRO

From: Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Date: Thu May 25 2000 - 02:16:29 PDT

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    Last night Mike McCants suggested looking for Dodecapole 2, and 
    it was a pretty good show!  It flashed to at least +4.5 but was 
    so complex that I didn't even try to time it!  According to 
    Encyclopedia Astronautica, its mass is only 4 kg!  It's just a
    bundle of 12 antennas about 7.6 meters (25 feet) long.
    
    DODECAPOLE 2
    1 01510U 65065C   00145.13207465  .00004892  00000-0  54360-2 0  3725
    2 01510  90.0069   4.3958 0054457  43.7719 316.7735 13.70729651712472
    
    http://www.friends-partners.org/partners/mwade/craft/dodapole.htm
    
    I noticed that we're going to have Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory
    passes here each night for the next several nights, right through 
    June 3.  If NASA's plan is still in place, GRO is supposed to be 
    deorbited on June 3, so I would suggest that anyone who's 
    interested in getting a last look at it see if there's even a low 
    pass that might be visible depending on available observing 
    equipment.  For one-power and binoculars, my experience has been 
    that from here it's pretty phase-sensitive, so that it's usually 
    been faint until it was pretty well illuminated.
    
    GRO                8    5    5 4.3               488 x 481
    1 21225U 91027B   00139.47879804  .00010420  00000-0  37330-3 0  8299
    2 21225  28.4583 182.4662 0004756  65.6973 294.4119 15.27026364388871
    
    Wow!  Just saw on TV some awesome film from the Atlas launch -- 
    a camera on board showed MECO and three pieces falling away, 
    including the two halves of the fairing!
    
    Mike recovered 97-68B (25035, USA 136 Rk, a Centaur) last night.
    That's his third recovery this week!
    
    I observed Telstar 402 (23249, 94-58A) again last night -- this 
    time by plan not by accident!
    
    Observing location, BCRC:  30.314N, 97.866W, 280m.
    
    Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA
    
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