Re: Strange TLEs for 02-024A

From: Michael McCants (mmccants@jump.net)
Date: Wed May 29 2002 - 14:22:12 EDT

  • Next message: Alan Pickup: "Decay watch: 2002 May 29"

    It now seems clear that the Hai Yang 1 payload actually maneuvered
    into a slightly lower, circular orbit.  The original elsets for the
    D object were like this:
    
    1 27433U 02024D   02136.75621877  .00003046  00000-0  17338-2 0    68
    2 27433  98.8055 187.5598 0013335 191.3504 168.7839 14.09763777   235
    
    There were no elsets from day 139 until 142.
    
    A subsequent elset was:
    
    1 27430U 02024A   02143.71921758  .00207776  00000-0  89773-1 0   157
    2 27430  98.8102 194.4368 0010768  95.9942  50.7862 14.22856854  1218
    
    This is a lower orbit, but the eccentricity is still non-zero and
    the location of the perigee has changed.  At this point Spacecom
    switched the elsets for the A and D objects.
    
    The next elset was:
    
    1 27430U 02024A   02144.39255402  .02731422  00000-0  10154+1 0   224
    2 27430  98.7921 195.1147 0002203 220.9052 141.4964 14.28117140  1312
    
    This is lower and circular with an incredibly high "drag" term.
    Either this is a very tiny piece of debris (which means I could not have
    seen it, but I did.) or it is maneuvering into a lower orbit.
    
    Today's elset is:
    
    1 27430U 02024A   02149.15424414 -.00003308  00000-0 -12803-2 0   347
    2 27430  98.7922 199.8989 0001590  96.3709 263.7611 14.29406024  1994
    
    This is a slightly lower orbit with a near-zero eccentricity and
    an unusual negative "drag" term.
    
    So I assume that Spacecom figured out that this was one of the payloads
    after it started maneuvering.  Then they switched it with the D object.
    The elsets for the other three objects have been quite stable over the
    entire time since launch.
    
    The brightest payload is the Payload B object.  Reports from the radio
    monitoring group clearly indicate that this is the Feng Yun 1D.
    That means that this maneuvering Payload A is the Hai Yang 1.
    
    This also matches what Jonathan McDowell wrote in his Space Report
    that the Feng Yun 1D and Adapter separated from the rocket first, followed
    by the Hai Yang 1.
    
    Latest elsets with my names and comments:
    
    Hai Yang 1 (mag 6.5 or 7 on a good pass)
    1 27430U 02024A   02149.15424414 -.00003308  00000-0 -12803-2 0   347
    2 27430  98.7922 199.8989 0001590  96.3709 263.7611 14.29406024  1994
    
    Feng Yun 1D (mag 4.5 or 5 on a good pass)
    1 27431U 02024B   02148.68572589  .00000449  00000-0  28298-3 0   158
    2 27431  98.8025 199.2129 0015409 151.2533 208.9488 14.09147047  1921
    
    Long March 4B Rocket (Flash to mag 3.5 - flash period about 1/2 second)
    1 27432U 02024C   02148.64511830 -.00000077 +00000-0 -17785-4 0 00167
    2 27432 098.7116 199.1165 0049804 238.6759 120.9526 14.13349901001910
    
    Adapter Debris (mag 5 or 5.5 on a good pass)
    1 27433U 02024D   02148.75491973 +.00000634 +00000-0 +38829-3 0 00264
    2 27433 098.8072 199.2918 0015966 156.2682 203.9202 14.09340838001921
    
    Mike McCants
    
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