RE: greetings/ is chris peat pulling my leg?

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Thu May 19 2005 - 10:39:59 EDT

  • Next message: "Re: U.S. Satellite policies"

    Stephan Szyman wrote:
    > hello,  everybody.  this is my first post on this board.  i'm 
    > steve, in suburban st. louis, missouri, USA.
    Welcome to SeeSat-L.
    > yesterday, I was chatting with my cousin and he mentioned to
    > me his observation of a trio of satellites in formation.  in
    > an attempt to identify what he'd seen,  I googled the terms
    > "satellites" and "triangles" and found a seesat-L post from 1997...
    Our web site also provides quite a bit of information on these objects:
    > I can't express how glad I am to have found you guys! I'm 
    > looking forward to learning a lot from this group and hopefully
    > adding something positive to the discussions which take place.  
    > I only hope I don't get on anybody's nerves,  I'm afraid I am
    > very much an amateur, and I'll probably ask some seemingly idiotic
    > questions along the way, so please bear with me.  thank you,
    > in advance,  to the administrator(s) and all the participants.
    SeeSat-L is a good place to find answers related to visual satellite observing,
    as you have already found. Our message archive is searchable via this page:
    We also have a FAQ:
    If the above do not yield the information you seek, then by all means post a
    question to the list.
    > here is the first question I have:  I noticed that recently,  
    > seemingly having to do with the launch of this classified cargo
    > at the end of april (which everyone seems to agree is lacrosse 5),
    > the manner in which "International Launch Code" designations have
    > been applied to objects has been changed from sequential increases
    > (2005-007-A, 2005-008-A, 2005-009-A et c) to now sequential 
    > decreases (2005-999-A, 2005-998-A etc.)  is this normal, has this
    > occurred in the past?
    Elsets bearing unusual catalogue numbers and/or international designations are
    most likely the creation of we hobbyists. Some of them are our pre-launch
    estimates of orbits, intended to facilitate rapid detection and tracking. Others
    denote objects which we cannot identify, probably because their orbits are not
    published by official sources.
    For example, Heavens-Above contains elements of 70999 / 2005-999A:
    Those are my pre-launch estimated elements, intended to support early tracking
    of the NOSS 3-3 launch.
    > the guy who runs heavens-above,  chris peat,  had previously 
    > been very prompt and accurate in posting the data whenever something 
    > new went into orbit.
    > now,  however,  there  seems to have possibly been pressure 
    > applied to mr. peat (please see this article from spaceflightnow:
    >  )
    > in mid-april,  I believe around the 15th, the expedition 11 crew 
    > launched to ISS.  I knew there were a series of ISS passes for st. louis 
    > at that time, so I was excited by a clear forecast. "cool," I thought,
    > "I'll go out tonight and watch the station go by chased by the soyuz TMA!" 
    > you  can imagine my surprise when I logged on to and 
    > there was no "new" icon,  no announcement whatsoever regarding the 
    > expedition 11 launch.
    I suspect that Chris simply has been busy with work, and fallen a bit behind on
    recent launches.
    > one more question, about the legal implications of our hobby:  
    > for US citizens,  do the new regulations mean we are prohibited from 
    > discussing sensitive payloads such as Lacrosse 5?
    I am not aware of any such prohibition.
    Ted Molczan
    Subscribe/Unsubscribe info, Frequently Asked Questions, SeeSat-L archive:

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu May 19 2005 - 10:44:35 EDT