RE: Missing USA 32 r

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Sat Oct 09 2004 - 20:04:34 EDT

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    Mike Bevan wrote:
    > I have not been observing for the past 18 months due to ill 
    > health However now that I am fit again I have decided to 
    > update my records an get back on track with my observing.
    Glad that you are well again. Welcome back!
    > Whilst update my observations on USA 32 (1988-078-A) I 
    > realised that USA 32 r (1988-078-B)(19461) has not been
    > observed since 1991. Does anybody know if its still up
    > there or has it decayed ?
    88078B, a Titan II 2nd stage, decayed soon after launch. The U.N. registry lists
    its orbit and that of the payload as 185 km x 292 km:
    That would have been their parking orbit. The payload manoeuvred to 800 km
    circular, and the 2nd stage quickly decayed.
    Russell Eberst observed an object on 1991 Apr 21, that was initially thought to
    be the 2nd stage, so a few elsets were issued for 88078B. Within a couple of
    weeks, there was consensus that the object was 88078A, based on its optical
    characteristics, and the U.N. registry. 
    If you have 88078B elsets of epoch 91114.8824651 or 91117.1207503, they are in
    fact of 88078A.
    Ted Molczan
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