Sputnik model to be hand-launched from Mir

3432P@VM1.CC.NPS.NAVY.MIL
Thu, 2 Oct 97 00:23:44 PDT

Perhaps this is old news, but I don't recall reading it on Seesat-L.
I just stumbled onto a web page located in France that mentions that
in honor of the 40th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik 1, a 1/3
scale model of that satellite will be hand-launched from Mir on
Oct 4th 1997 (or soon after).  It said that the model will orbit
for about 1.5 years before reentry.

A quick summary:  The replica shell was built by the Russians, and
the radio transmitter by French students.  The transmitter will emit
the famous beep-beep signal that the original Sputnik did, and VHF
amateur radio stations will be able to pick up the signal.  While
the signal doesn't interest me, and further discussion of radio
observations of it belong on Hearsat-L, it will be a challenge to
try to visually observe it with a telescope.  Here are the
specifications:

Mass: 4kg   (8.8 pounds)
Diameter of shell: 18cm  (7 inches)

That's not very big at all, is it?  On second thought, it might
well be impossible for the great majority of us to see this after
all.  At least it will be in a much lower orbit than Vanguard 1,
so there's hope.  In any case, for the curious, the web page is
available in three languages...

English: http://www.oceanes.fr/~fr5fc/angspoutnik.html
French:  http://www.oceanes.fr/~fr5fc/spoutnik.html
Spanish: http://www.oceanes.fr/~fr5fc/espspoutnik.html

I found the best information on the site is contained in a link
called "Guy's Weekly", but that particular page is about 100kb
(almost all of it text) so it might take awhile to load.

 Craig Cholar