Re: Hayabusa listing

From: George Olshevsky (
Date: Sun Nov 27 2005 - 19:13:05 EST

  • Next message: Jonathan McDowell: "Re: Hayabusa listing"

    On 11/26/05, Jonathan McDowell <> wrote:
    > George,
    > You might find this interesting. I am working on a catalog of 'objects
    > not in the NORAD catalog'. I don't give them lettered COSPAR
    > designations, since that's very prone to getting trodden on by future
    > cataloging of debris. Instead,  I give them numbers a bit like the SSN
    > (NORAD) numbers but with a prefix: "A-numbers" in an "Auxiliary
    > catalog". This way I don't stomp on future changes to the NORAD list. (I
    > also keep catalogs of suborbital objects with different prefixes). For
    > the objects that do have SSN numbers, I give them an "S" prefix for
    > clarity. (When Space Command plays silly games and reassigns a catalog
    > number, I give the reassigned object an A number as well so that I can
    > track the distinction, and consider the S number only to apply to the
    > current Space Command ID).
    > I'm not including the bullets since they are only ejected after
    > touchdown, I also don't include every film canister and piece of
    > experiment litter dropped by Apollo astronauts on lunar EVA.
    Hi, Jonathan--
    Firstly, sure, I'm insanely interested in your forthcoming catalog of
    uncataloged objects. I had one going myself way back when as part of
    my satellite tabulation project. At the time, I had no compunctions
    about adding extra "NNA" objects and IDs to my table. If they were
    subsequently cataloged officially, I would simply make the necessary
    changes and create a fresh listing. The NNAs went all the way back to
    Sputnik 1, whose NNA was 1957 Alpha 3, a nose cap that apparently went
    into orbit along with the satellite and the rocket body. Sputnik 2
    also had an associated piece of hardware, 1957 Beta 2. Both of these
    were listed in the earliest TRW Space Logs, before the 1961 Omicron
    explosion made logging fragments and hardware separately in that
    publication no longer possible.
    I avoided serial numbering systems because I felt that things should
    be more or less in chronological order, and if something were found
    that went in between adjacent numbers, I might have to manually
    renumber everything too often.
    Litter left on the moon during the Apollo missions was logged in one
    or two articles in Spaceflight magazine in the early 1970s (exact
    references long since forgotten). They even assigned international
    designations (IDs) to each piece, as I recall. If you're going to log
    stuff that falls off on the way to space, you might want to reconsider
    not logging stuff that falls off on the way out of space, so to speak,
    such as the protective hardware for the Mars and Venus landers, etc.
    Friday's Hayabusa antics have caused a couple of changes to my Hayabusa listing:
    2003-019A       27809   JPN           HELIOCENTRIC ORBIT (SUN)              N/A
      Hayabusa (MUSES C)                     Launched (05/09/2003)
    2003-019B       27810   JPN           HELIOCENTRIC ORBIT (SUN)              N/A
      M-5 rocket body                        Launched (05/09/2003)
    "2003-019C"       NNA   JPN           HELIOCENTRIC ORBIT (SUN)              N/A
      Navigation target marker 1             Launched (05/09/2003)
    Released [11/09/2005]
    "2003-019D"       NNA   JPN           HELIOCENTRIC ORBIT (SUN)              N/A
      MINERVA lander                         Launched (05/09/2003)
    Released [11/12/2005]
    "2003-019E"       NNA   JPN           IMPACTED ASTEROID ITOKAWA             N/A
      Navigation target marker 2             Launched (05/09/2003) Decayed
    "2003-019F"       NNA   JPN           IMPACTED ASTEROID ITOKAWA             N/A
      Tantalum sampler probe                 Launched (05/09/2003) Decayed
    "2003-019G"       NNA   JPN           IMPACTED ASTEROID ITOKAWA             N/A
      Navigation target marker 3             Launched (05/09/2003) Decayed
    "2003-019H"       NNA   JPN           IMPACTED ASTEROID ITOKAWA             N/A
      Tantalum sampler probe                 Launched (05/09/2003) Decayed
    "2003-019J"       NNA   JPN                                                 N/A
      Sample return capsule                  Launched (05/09/2003) [Not yet used]
    Note the quote marks around the IDs to show they're unofficial, just
    there for the purposes of the table. I also followed your listing in
    numbering the markers.
    Speaking of the table, I am slowly continuing to reidentify the
    objects in the SSR. My ultimate goal is to expunge the term "debris"
    entirely from the table, either by identifying an object explicitly,
    or by calling it a "fragment" if it is a known remnant of an on-orbit
    breakup or "hardware" if it is known to be something left in orbit
    during the normal course of operations. It didn't take long to find
    all kinds of conflicts among various sources as to what various
    objects might be. For example, for 1963-47, I have A as the Centaur 2
    rocket body (or what's left of it), B-J as insulation pieces, and K-U
    simply as Centaur 2 fragments. In your online list, almost eveything
    is an insulation piece. The radar cross sections of some of the later
    objects are pretty tiny, so how sure are you that they're still
    insulation pieces? The 13th History is noncomittal beyond the first
    eight objects.
    Speaking of radar cross sectons, the one in the SSR for Sputnik 2
    (0.0800) just has to be wrong. As I recall, Sputnik 2 was the entire
    R-7 first stage sans strap-ons and should have an RCS as big as a
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