Zenit RB decay observed ?

From: Harro.Zimmer (Harro.Zimmer@t-online.de)
Date: Fri Oct 13 2000 - 01:15:18 PDT

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    2000-056B (#26403) Zenit RB
    
    As Alan mentioned yesterday (decay watch Oct 12) there was an observation from
    an aircraft pilot (altitude 11 000 ft.) over Maseru, Lesotho (29.28S, 27.29E) 
    on Oct 11, around 17:50 - 18:00 UTC which could be the decay of the Zenit RB. 
    SPACECOM, Alan and I showed the decay on a more northern position over Central
    Africa:   SPACECOM  17:59 UTC +/- 20 minutes (13.8S, 29.3E)
              Alan:     17:52 UTC -15m /+ 30 m   ( 0.0   23.6E)
              Harro:    17:52 UTC +/- 07 minutes (02.13N, 22.67E)
    A small question mark:
    A careful reconstruction of the final orbit shows for Maseru at 17:59:43 UTC 
    a maximum elevation of only 04.96 (AZ: 68.86, Range: 856,1 km). The geodectic
    altitude of the RB for this time was 130.2 km. The observed direction (NNE)
    is correct but the description of a  "fiery" object (3- 5 minutes visible,unsure)
    suggests a lower altitude on the reentry trajectory. Let us assume 87 km. The 
    elevation of the decayer for the observer over Maseru is then only 2.0 !
    It would be of great interest to see a more precise description of the 
    observation.
    
    Harro
    Harro.Zimmer@t-online.de
    Berlin. Germany 
    
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