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92- 12 B = 21903

On the flash period curve, we see that this object is followed quite well when it was visible for most observers. Unfortunately there are still gaps... But between 96 Jan 05 and 30 the acceleration of the rocket was seen by a lot of our observers, the period decreased rather slowly from 4.18s (Paul Maley on the fifth) to 3.84s (Leo B). This is a good example of a rather small fuel-leak, which is also seen with other rockets, although in most cases the accelerations are of a greater amplitude (as you can see in this report). In this case there is no relation with a change in orbital elements. It seems to be possible that a very small fuel-leak has no influence on the orbit of the rocket. Fortenately this object was still on our priority list because it had also accelerated more distinct some months before.

 



Bart de Pontieu
Fri May 24 11:30:41 MET DST 1996