Re: Chinese bird spotted over Spain

Alan Pickup (
Sun, 21 Nov 1999 11:11:52 +0000

Ruben Velasco <> writes
>Update: It seems that there's a double error with OIG names (again).
>They shouldn't have made the change 25956<->25957 and named the latter
>"CZ-2F r". And you have all those websites quoting the official
>chinese news agency reports about the landing of the vehicle... 

To be fair to SpaceCom and OIG, the published elsets (with one
exception, see below) have all been under the default name "UNK". I
named #25957 "CZ-2F r" in the elsets I posted here because this is (I
understand) the abbreviation for the expected type of Long March rocket
in use, and I expected the rocket to be assigned the B designation. I
have noted elsewhere that in SpaceCom's decay warning, #25957 is
identified as "CSHL-05 R/B".

The one exception, mentioned above, is for the latest catalogued object
for which OIG is proffering the elset...
1 25960U 99061E   99325.16740673  .00995739  84110-5  69975-3 0    13
2 25960  42.5954  19.5106 0092543 136.8558 223.9630 16.06152554    15
I assume that "SZ-1" is an abbreviation for "Shenzhou-1".

As Phillip Clark suggests in another posting, the latter object may well
be a module detached from SZ-1 before the deorbit burn; indeed, an
article on the China Daily Web site states...
"The next order of pose adjusting from Beijing was smoothly transmitted
to the spacecraft via No.3 survey ship, which had fulfilled tracing and
survey mission of the spacecraft at 18:58 hours after it has sent out a
series of remote orders related to pose adjusting, detaching of the
orbit cabinet and brake application."
I suggest that #25960 is the aforesaid "orbit cabinet".

OIG's latest (final?) two elsets for #25956 (as received) are:
UNK    Decayed: 1999/11/20
1 25956U 99061A   99324.73202354  .01045460  84003-5  76811-3 0    71
2 25956  42.5961  22.2926 0094761 133.8331 227.0262 16.05228478   103
UNK    Decayed: 1999/11/20
1 25956U 99061A   99325.16740681  .01094012  84072-5  76902-3 0    84
2 25956  42.5945  19.5107 0092379 136.7716 224.0460 16.06173681   177

In fact, I believe that the second of these elsets is for the "cabinet"
- the indicated orbit is very close to that of #25960 (within ~0.02
second). It is also within 1.2 second of a SatEvo prediction based on
the earlier #25956 elsets.

So what did Ruben observe. If, as he says, it was exactly on time for
his #25956 predictions, I am pretty sure that it was #25960, the
"cabinet" and not #25957, the (alleged) rocket. For Ruben's location,
the rocket would have emerged from eclipse almost 3 minutes later and
some 20 degrees further to the W on an overhead W->E pass.

 Alan Pickup | COSPAR 2707:  55d53m48.7s N  3d11m51.2s W   156m asl
 Edinburgh   | Tel: +44 (0)131 477 9144     Fax: +44 (0)870 0520750
 Scotland    | SatEvo page:

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