Re: Cosmo1 1701 - A mysterious Decay

From: Phillip Clark (psclark@dircon.co.uk)
Date: Fri May 11 2001 - 13:34:40 PDT

  • Next message: David Brierley: "DMB Obs 96-72A"

    On Fri, 11 May 2001, Harro Zimmer wrote:
    > 1985-105A (#16235) Cosmos 1701
    > OIG showed today (UTC) the decay of Cosmos 1701. SPACECOM hasn't issued any
    > TIP message. There are five peculiar ELSET'S for these three days:
    >    May 05  Mean Motion: 6.344...     Eccentricity: 0.4762...
    >    May 07    "    "     7.213...          "        0.4217...
    >    May 10    "    "    15.829... !!       "        0.0371...  !!
    > I don't see a "normal" explanation for this big jump between May 07 and 
    > May 10. It looks like a "catastrophic" event. 
    > The perigee altitude on the last epoch time - 1130.5628... - was 80.60 km.
    > Based on the last two ELSET'S MPM + REENTRY delivers the decay on
    >                       10 May, 13:54 UTC +/- 17 minutes (28.11S, 353.90E)
    > on a descending pass over the South Atlantic. It is also possible that the
    > satellite survived for another rev. OIG reported:" Decayed 2001/05/11"
    
    It is possible that the differing element sets might relate to different
    objects because Cosmos 1701 suffered a break-up on April 29th.
    
    It is interesting that NASA has been "spotting" the break-ups of
    satellites decaying from Molniya-type orbits over the last year or
    so.   It seems likely that the satellites do suffer break-ups routinely
    during the final stages of orbital decay as aerodynamic forces cause
    attachments like solar panels and instrument shields to fragment during
    the low perigee passes.
    
    Phillip Clark
    
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    Phillip S Clark                                     22 Winterbourne Close
    Molniya Space Consultancy                           Hastings
    Compiler/Publisher, Worldwide Satellite Launches    E Sussex  TN34 1XG
                                                        U.K.
    
    Specialist in "space archeology" - the older and more obscure the more 
    interesting it is !
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