RE: International Designation and Year 2000

Ted Molczan (
Sat, 28 Sep 1996 16:29:00 -0400

Ed Cannon wrote:

>My (first) question regarding the International Designation format is,
>how will it be handled beginning 1 Jan. 2000?  Won't it become almost 
>a necessity to use all four digits of the year?

I do not know what NORAD plans to do, but since 
artificial satellites were not launched prior to 
1957, they could keep the same format, and simply 
let the year roll over to 00 in 2000. That would 
postpone the problem to 2057. 

Of course software that simply adds yy to 1900 
would have to be re-written, but that would be 
true even if a yyyy format were adopted.

>...  Hmmm.  Now that I'm thinking about it, what about the date format 
>in line 1 of TLE sets?  ...  And how will that affect all of the old
>elsets that are being considered for the worldwide elsets archive(s)?

Same goes for the date format.

>Maybe the "sky-is-falling" alarmists have a point about the year 2000
>and computer software problems....  But probably there's a discussion 
>and perhaps even a solution of this, as it affects orbital data

I guess there is one now.

Ted Molczan