TiPS Search again unsuccessful

From: Peter Wakelin (
Date: Tue Sep 26 2006 - 09:02:20 EDT

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    I searched for TiPS from 24 minutes before predicted time (as soon as
    the sky was dark enough) to 33 minutes after (when the track was getting
    too low and fog was beginning to form).
    This time I used the CCD camera with the wide lens but failed to find it
    on the 278 exposures made.  I have successfully imaged TiPS before with
    the same camera and I should have found it.  If the tether has broken I
    would still expect to see broken trails made by Ralph's and Norton's
    I've been trying to puzzle out what would happen to Ralph and Norton if
    the tether has broken.  If prior to breakage eccentricity was exactly
    zero then I would think that, on breakage, that point would become the
    apogee of Ralph's new orbit and the perigee of Norton's.  I believe the
    tether is/was only 4km long so the difference in mean motion of the two
    components would be small but, nevertheless, they would soon drift
    I'll have another go soon when the southbound leg emerges from shadow
    and will scan the entire orbit if needed.
    Peter Wakelin
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