Re: COSMOS 375

Jim Varney (jvarney@mail2.quiknet.com)
Sun, 29 Sep 1996 22:48:55 -0700

Jay Respler wrote:

[quoting from Teledyne Brown Engineering]
>Comments: Cosmos 375 was launched on a two-revolution rendezvous with Cosmos
>373.  The fragmentation occurred in the vicinity of Cosmos 373.  Cosmos 375
>was part of test series begun with Cosmos 249. Elements above are first
>reliable ones for orbit after final maneuver which took place immediately
>before fragmentation.  [There is] Considerable cross-cataloging of Cosmos 374
>and Cosmos 375 debris...
>
>Which fails to answer your question: where's the rocket body?
>--
>
>
>First, should that be Cosmos 374 instead of 373?

No.  Cosmos 373 was the target.  C* 374 had a rendezvous with C* 373, but
was detonated nowhere near it.  C* 375 was detonated near C* 373.  I assume
the cross-cataloging of debris is due to the detonations occurring in
similar orbits only days apart.  Debris has a way of quickly scattering all
over because the delta V's of the explosion propel the pieces into lots
of different mean motions and inclinations.

>Then, based on Jim's info, I looked at the Sat Sit Rept.
>
>  Cat Design   Name              Country  Period  Incl   Apo   Per   RCS
> 4594 70-089A  COSMOS 374            CIS   106.5  63.0  1611   516  .047
> 4597 70-089B  SL-11 R/B             CIS   111.4  63.0  2038   545  15.0
> 4598 70-091A  COSMOS 375            CIS   111.3  62.8  2041   533   4.9
> 4622 70-091B  COSMOS 375 DEB        CIS   101.8  62.7  1171   512   .13
> 4629 70-091J  COSMOS 375 DEB        CIS   111.2  62.9  2002   562   1.0
>
>If Cosmos 374 exploded, the RCS matches perfectly.  The payload is now just a
>tiny piece of debris.  The rocket is quite large.
>However, with the C375 launch, the only piece with a large RCS is A, labeled
>as the payload.  No part is listed as the rocket, which should be the only
>large part.  It would seem reasonable that what is now called payload A, is
>really the rocket.  The payload is now the many debris pieces starting with B.
>
>Comments?

I'm not sure what conclusion to reach.  Perhaps the booster and payload were
left attached together (C* 375 only made two orbits before detonation) and the
whole thing was called A.

 -- Jim

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Jim Varney       | 121^ 23' 54" W,  38^ 27' 28" N   |           Sacramento, CA
Member, SeeSat-L |           Elev. 31 ft.           |                         
Member, Sacramento Valley Astronomical Society      |jvarney@mail2.quiknet.com
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