RE: lacrosse 3 #25017

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Sun Sep 25 2011 - 13:37:21 UTC

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    Tony Beresford wrote regarding Lacrosse 3 (97064A / 25017):
    > Just a heads-up on this bright object.
    > This object is one on Mike McCants classfd.tle list.
    > The epoch of the current TLE is September 6.
    > The TLE was probably triggered by Scott Tilley.s
    > observation of September 6.
    Alberto Rango's observations of 2011 Aug 28 UTC revealed it running nearly 3 s late relative 3 day old orbital elements,
    indicating a small rise in altitude. Scott's observation of Sep 06 UTC revealed it ~20 s late relative 3.3 day old
    elements, indicating another rise in altitude. It appeared that it had already occurred by the time of Mike Waterman's
    observations of Sep 02 UTC, so the current elements were fit to Sep 02-06.
    > I have evening visibility of this object  at the moment and did
    > not see it after sunset last night with good viewing conditions.
    > Assuming the current TLE Northern hemisphere observers
    > have morning visibility.
    What was the date/time of your non-sighting, and how long before and after the predicted time did you watch for it?
    > I wonder if it has manouvered or undergone controlled re-entry.
    Several of the Lacrosse satellites have made infrequent small decreases and increases in altitude. I suspect most were
    due to the firing of thrusters to de-saturate control momentum gyroscopes. Collision avoidance is another possibility.
    Optimizing the ground track for re-entry is a possibility, but we saw no evidence of that prior to the de-orbit of
    Lacrosses 1 and 2.
    Ted Molczan
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