RE: Shenzhou 7 rocket on spacetrack

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Thu Sep 25 2008 - 17:21:01 UTC

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    Kevin Fetter wrote:
    > Spacetrack has a orbit, for the Shenzhou 7 rocket.
    > Catalog number = 33386
    Space Track lists that as the payload, 08047A, but judging by the apogee height,
    I suspect it is the rocket - at least for the two epoch 08269.5963 elsets. The
    payload's initial apogee should be about 5 km greater, causing it to trail the
    rocket by a short distance.
    Shenzhou 2 (01001A / 26664) is the only mission for which USSTRATCOM issued
    elsets of the payload in its elliptical parking orbit, probably because it
    remained in that orbit much longer than on the other missions. 
    Observers should note that Heavens-Above has taken the 33386 epoch 08269.5963
    elset at face-value as the payload. Not a big problem until the payload
    circularizes its orbit about 20:03 UTC (Sep 25); just remember to look for the
    payload trailing by a short distance.
    N. American observers should note that the payload's circularization burn occurs
    hours before any passes of N. America; therefore you should make predictions
    using the circularized orbit elset that I provided here:
    Or wait until Space Track issues the actual circularized orbit, sometime after
    20:03 UTC.
    Or try Calsky, which has my estimated elements:
    Ted Molczan
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