Compass 2 stabilization problem

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Tue May 30 2006 - 12:17:23 EDT

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    The newly launched Compass 2 satellite (06019C / 29159) has a problem with
    stabilization. It is intended to be 3-axis stabilized, but may be rotating.
    Radio satellite observers have been monitoring the satellite on 137.350 MHz, and
    reporting their results on HearSat-L. Their posts are archived here, and are
    well worth reading:
    They have heard the satellite on 137.350 MHz in short bursts, and an emerging
    line of speculation is that the bursts are a manifestation of the satellite's
    Visual observers may be able to add data regarding the rate of any rotation. 
    Compass 2 currently is visible in the Southern Hemisphere. The best passes occur
    in the evening; morning passes are too near twilight.
    I do not have precise dimensions, but from drawings I estimate that its bus is
    approx 1 m x 0.5 m x 0.5 m, from which I estimate its standard magnitude is
    about 9. Given its 400 km altitude, it may reach mag 7 on a favourable pass.
    Ted Molczan
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