STSS Demo 2: preliminary post-manoeuvre elements

From: Ted Molczan (ssl3molcz@rogers.com)
Date: Fri Nov 13 2009 - 03:02:49 UTC

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    Bob Christy detected a manoeuvre by the leading STSS Demo object within the
    past 24 h, as evidenced by its running more than 20 s late on 2009 Nov 12,
    on passes near 21:22 UTC and 23:19 UTC. I received Bob's alert just in time
    to make a visual observation on Nov 13 near 00:59 UTC, which I combined with
    approximate positions estimated from his preliminary Doppler radio TCA (time
    of closest approach) data:
    
    35938 09 052B   0604 F 20091112212201000 56 15 0110470+463507 39
    35938 09 052B   0604 F 20091112231951000 56 15 0143070+773043 39
    35938 09 052B   2701 G 20091113005856100 17 25 2233372-005672 27 S
    
    IOD format: http://www.satobs.org/position/IODformat.html
    
    Site 2701: 43.68764 N, 79.39243 W, 230 m
    
    Here are approximate elements:
    
    STSS Demo 2
    1 35938U 09052B   09317.03187929  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0    06
    2 35938  57.9885 319.7793 0010000  10.2525 349.8618 12.78746945    09
    
    Mean motion is uncertain by perhaps 0.003 rev/d, corresponding to period
    uncertainty of about 2 s.
    
    It appears that the manoeuvre is intended to reverse the separation between
    the spacecraft, which had grown to in excess of 63 deg of central angle.
    Based on an Aerospace Corporation article in March 2008, it is expected that
    they will eventually be separated by about a 35 deg central angle. They
    reached that separation on Oct 16 UTC, but then continued to separate,
    perhaps as a test of the limits of their communications cross-links.
    
    Ted Molczan
    
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