Re: is sputnik ahead or behind mir?

3432P@VM1.CC.NPS.NAVY.MIL
Wed, 5 Nov 97 21:48:01 PST

OIG has named 24958 (97058C) "Sputnik Jr" in their thirty.tle file, so
that confirms Vladimir Agapov's previous post.  Anyone else think the Jr
(Junior) name is just a little *too* cute?  In any case, I took all the
24958 elsets I could find, and using the epoch dates for each I think
I've produced a reasonably correct assessment of where Sputnik was in
relation to Mir over the past few days.  According to the elsets,
Sputnik is now trailing Mir, and probably has trailed since launch.
This conclusion of mine is based solely on the elsets, not any visual
or radio observations.

                   TLE        Seconds
TLE Epoch (UT)  Revolution   Behind Mir
11/3  18:28:26      1            22
11/3  20:01:02      1            26
11/4  06:45:58      9            40
11/4  08:19:02     10            42
11/4  11:23:31     12            58
11/4  17:32:30     16            60
11/4  22:09:13     19            67
11/5  19:40:35     33            87

The time given earlier by Vladimir for the Sputnik release was 11/3 at
approx. 04:05 UT.  The earliest "Revolution 1" elset I could find was
dated about 14.5 hours after that, so obviously there are more actual
revolutions than listed above.

Here are the elsets I used, with dummy catalog numbers to make it easier
for me to do my comparisons.

Sputnik 40 Rev 1a
1 99901U 97058C   97307.76974987  .03133272  00000-0  33373-1 0    15
2 99901  51.6653 104.2151 0002854 267.1153  91.4740 15.60116254    11
Sputnik 40 Rev 1b
1 99902U 97058C   97307.83404343 -.01855807  00000-0 -25797-1 0    25
2 99902  51.6607 103.8930 0001921 213.6993 146.1655 15.59574529    17
Sputnik 40 Rev 9
1 99903U 97058C   97308.28192664  .00048976  00000-0  59630-3 0    41
2 99903  51.6539 101.6354 0005296 116.6435 240.3120 15.60009422    99
Sputnik 40 Rev 10
1 99904U 97058C   97308.34655126  .00036817  00000-0  45003-3 0    57
2 99904  51.6553 101.3115 0007372 272.1230  87.8975 15.60022040   101
Sputnik 40 Rev 12
1 99905U 97058C   97308.47467067 -.00002967  00000-0 -29632-4 0    60
2 99905  51.6553 100.6673 0007115 267.7774  92.2480 15.59998040   124
Sputnik 40 Rev 16
1 99906U 97058C   97308.73090523  .00032204  00000-0  39449-3 0    71
2 99906  51.6583  99.3826 0006309 271.4809  88.5478 15.60040373   165
Sputnik 40 Rev 19
1 99907U 97058C   97308.92307773  .00038386  00000-0  46831-3 0   116
2 99907  51.6582  98.4158 0006160 273.4617  86.5668 15.60061583   195
Sputnik 40 Rev 33
1 99908U 97058C   97309.81985818  .00045142  00000-0  54732-3 0    92
2 99908  51.6579  93.9046 0006410 279.5466  80.5032 15.60148481   333

 Craig Cholar