RE: Cosmos 2421

From: Paul Cefola (cefola@MIT.EDU)
Date: Fri Oct 31 2008 - 15:52:18 UTC

  • Next message: Ted Molczan: "RE: Cosmos 2421"

    Where can I find the image?
    Dr. Paul J. Cefola
    Research Affiliate, MIT Aeronautics & Astronautics Dept
    Consultant in Aerospace Systems, Spaceflight Mechanics & Astrodynamics
    978-579-9668 (phone/fax)
    978-201-1393 (cell)
    -----Original Message-----
    From: Jonathan McDowell [] 
    Sent: Friday, October 31, 2008 10:45 AM
    Subject: Cosmos 2421
    John, this is a very interesting image and I encourage you to image
    this satellite some more.
     Cosmos-2421 is a US-P satellite, with a long central cylinder and two
    big solar panels, not entirely unlke a stretched HST.
     This class of satellites is destroyed at the end of its mission, and
    currently LEO is chock-full of hundreds of pieces of debris from this
     But it's never been clear if the satellite is deliberately destroyed
    or just has a tendency to disintegrate after being abandoned, and
    indeed whether this 'destruction' is partial or complete. From your image,
    looks partial. Maybe the engine section blows up leaving the payload
    mostly intact (if it's an accidental destruction) or maybe the secret
    payload is blown up leaving the engine/service module intact (if the
    destruction is deliberate).
      - Jonathan
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