Re: Decay watch: Proton r & platform

Alan Pickup (alan@wingar.demon.co.uk)
Wed, 2 Sep 1998 20:17:28 +0100

Apologies for not closing the book yesterday on the decay of the Astra
2A Proton rocket - I've been suffering computer problems that also meant
that my updates to select.tle, etc, were stalled overnight and have been
erratic since. And, of course, OIG say they will be off-line tomorrow
(Sep 3) while they relocate, so expect another interuption to normal
service.

The rocket probably came down ahead of my prediction, and may not have
survived long enough to overfly Europe between September 1 03.51 and
03.56 as I hoped. Patrick Schmeer reports no sighting between 03:38 and
04:00, though the path was mainly in clouds.

The final elset was
Astra 2A Proton r                                159 x 126 km
1 25463U 98050B   98243.96811195  .22916440  12683-4  22380-3 0   236
2 25463  51.5989 344.1201 0025319 275.3542  84.4454 16.48733038   329
which shows it 9 seconds early against the prediction I posted a few
hours before.

My final analysis suggests that decay came around September 1.14 (03:20
UTC), but there are enough inconsistencies between the final elsets that
it might even have dropped as early as 01.00 UTC. The final elset from
my analysis reads:
Astra 2A Proton r                                135 x 117 km
1 25463U 98050B   98244.08913817  .42151091  23767+1  20332-3 0 90234
2 25463  51.5972 343.4242 0013893 275.8747  83.9670 16.54938427   346

Alan
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