COSPAR vs. NORAD - was Re:acceleration of 91-19 B

Philip Chien (
Wed, 29 Oct 1997 19:38:50 -0400

Kurt Jonckheere said:

>At 07:50 AM 10/29/97 +0000, you wrote:
>>Congratulations Leo for finding that :
>>>91-19 B IS ACCELERATING !!!!
>>Here are the latest OIG elements :
>>1 21153U 91019B   97282.67488522  .00000080  00000-0  67018-4 0  9334
>>2 21153  82.9256 146.3371 0040295  58.9950 301.5151 13.74858988330189
>>Kurt Jonckheere

Ron Lee

>Thanks for the elset Kurt.  I don't want to open up the COSPAR vs NORAD
>issue but in order for me to track an object, the best ID is NORAD.
>Using COSPAR only forces me to open up my large elset (8000+) and scrolling
>through to find it.
>Thanks for your consideration and support  :)

while NORAD is certainly the better choice for sorting and 'machine
recognition', the COSPAR id is much more descriptive of the object's

In this case it's a "B" object which indicates that it's either a seocndary
payload or the rocket's upper stage.

And 19 gives a very rough estimate of when in the year the launch occured.

In addition I also like to include the actual name of the object (what
Walter would call a 'vulgar' name).  The object does have a name before
it's launched, whether it's "Delta Upper Stage" or "PAGEOS".  Yes objects
are often renamed when they reach orbit or if they're sold to another
company.  But the *name* of an object is usually a much more descriptive

In this particular case (as I flip through my TRW Space Log) 91 19B is a
SL-8 (Cosmos) upper stage.  The A object was Nadezhda-3.

And knowing that the object is a Cosmos upper stage gives me a pretty good
idea of the size of the object, and a guess at its visual characteristics.

So whenever possible I prefer to use all three.

Philip Chien [M1959.05.31/31.145//]