Re: NK satellite may be real

Richard Clark (
Sat, 12 Sep 1998 21:02:46 -0400 (EDT)

The 2nd stage impacted at 40.2N 149.1E at a downrange distance of 1646 km.
I've heard that the Japanese reported different values for some of the
flight events but I don't have their numbers.

The satellite and 3rd stage are supposedly in a 219 x 6978 km orbit.
Burnout must have been very close to perigee

For the 2nd stage, burnout was probably before apogee of the instantaneous
orbit by a small amount. To simplify the math I put it at apogee (TA_2_bo
= 180) and impact at TA_2_i = 195 (1646/110 = 15 deg). Flight path angle
would have been nearly 0 so the height of apogee must have been close to
the height of perigee of the final 3rd stage orbit. I can fit these
conditions with a 2nd stage orbit with a=4650km, e=.4 and burnout velocity
about v=6.0km/sec

The final orbit for the 3rd stage 27 seconds later gives a=9970 and
e=.339. Perigee velocity is 9.0 km/sec. 

I've never looked at any 'real' satellite launches this way so I don't
know if these numbers seem plausible or not. The implied acceleration
certainly seems high. This last announcement came out of State Department?

Richard Clark

On Sat, 12 Sep 1998, Ron Lee wrote:

> If it is in orbit...where is the elset from OIG?  What is the catalog
> number?
> Ron Lee
> At 07:35 AM 9/12/98 -0600, you wrote:
> >This is weird...
> >
> >WASHINGTON--Contradicting earlier reports, U.S. State Department officials
> >confirmed Friday that Pyongyang launched a satellite--not a missile--on Aug.
> >31.