Re: Kupon platform re-entry aftermath

Alan Pickup (
Wed, 19 Nov 1997 00:18:33 +0000

In message <>, Robert Knight
<> writes
>Has anyone integrated the following AP report from Japan with the
>Canadian/Northwestern sightings of the SL-12 re-entry?  Apparently,
>there must have been quite an extensive trail...
>Suspected satellite launcher fragment falls in southern Japan
>Associated Press, 11/13/97 13:03 EST
Note that this dateline is well before the Vancouver sighting which
occurred at around 05:10 UTC on the 15th.

>TOKYO (AP) - Fishermen in southern Japan saw a shining object fall into
>the ocean Thursday night, and Japanese coast guard officials said they
>believe it was a fragment from a Russian satellite launcher. 
>    The fishermen were on a boat in the Pacific Ocean about 40 miles
>east of Japan's southwestern island of Tanegashima only minutes before a
>fragment was expected to fall in northern Japan, said an official with
>the Maritime Safety Agency. 
>    Earlier Thursday, the Defense Agency was notified by U.S. forces in
>Japan that a fragment of a Russian SL-12 satellite launcher would fall
>near Kushiro, on Japan's northern island of Hokkaido, 530 miles
>northeast of Tokyo. 
>    The Maritime Safety Agency said it planned to send a plane Friday to
>investigate the object. 

No, it could not have been 97- 70 C, the object I have been calling the
Kupon "platform". However, the report appears to be confirmation of my
analysis of the decay of 97- 70 B, the object I called the Proton-K
rocket.  In a posting to this list at 20:50 UTC on the 13th, I said "My
final SatEvo evolution suggests that decay may have occurred near the
next northbound equator crossing at about 10:25 UTC near longitude 103
deg E." In fact, just 10 minutes later, at 10:35 UTC, it would have been
at 30.8 deg N latitude and 129.0 deg E longitude, only 200 km west of
the fishermen and heading north-eastwards towards Hokkaido.

I must now question the identities I have been assigning to the B and C
objects. In their 30-day list, OIG identify the C object as the main SL-
12 (ie Proton) rocket, so I now believe that this was indeed the object
which decayed over Vancouver. This would be consistent with the above AP
statement associating a "fragment of a Russian SL-12 satellite launcher"
with the Japanese sighting. As to whether USSPACECOM call "B" a
"Platform", I suppose we will need to await the next SatSitRep. On past
form, they have usually (always?) dubbed "B" as the SL-12 and "C" as the
Platform, which is the convention I assumed they were following in this
case. Incidentally, I assume the "D" object, identified as "SL-12 r(2)"
in the 30-day list, is the Blok DM-2, now in geosynchronous orbit after
delivering Kupon.

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