[FPSPACE] Correct designations of Mars Odyssey and Ekran M18 ?

From: Jonathan McDowell (jcm@head-cfa.harvard.edu)
Date: Mon May 21 2001 - 12:16:01 PDT

  • Next message: Allen Thomson: "Re: [FPSPACE] Correct designations of Mars Odyssey and Ekran M18 ?"

    Tristan,
     Good question. Historically, there have been several examples of international
    
    designations being out of launch time sequence, particularly when NORAD failed to
    track something initially. The 'correct' designation is whatever COSPAR says it is;
    long ago this was delegated I believe to WDC-A/R+S which in turn delegated it to Space Command.
    Therefore, in practice it's whatever Space Command says. Initially they listed 
    Ekran as 14A, then as 13A, and now as 14A again. If you look on the change page,
    the switch to 13A was valid from Apr 16 to May 9. So as of today, it's Ekran = 14A and 
    Odyssey = 13A. I am reluctantly concluding that I have to begin my own independent  
    designation system, since the traditional ones are no longer stable enough to use
    for historical work (for instance, note the reuse of various catalog numbers for other
    objects).
      Jonathan McDowell
    
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