Re: #Norad number

From: Bart De Pontieu <BDP_at_MPE.MPE-GARCHING.MPG.DE>
Date: Fri, 28 Apr 1995 16:20:45 -0400

Walter Nissen wrote in seesat/336 :

>> Fm: J. Thomas Jeffrey 73220,2435
>> Tonight I was able to see the satellite INTSAT 2-2 dX ... .
>> I used Traksat 2.8 to predict it's
>> position. I then plotted the position using Uranometria 2000.
>Congratulations on this OBS.

J. Thomas Jeffrey is not (yet?) subscribed to SeeSat-L.

>P.S. for Bart and Bjoern: It wouldn't matter whether I recognized the
>vulgar name, if the US SPACECOM catalog number had been provided.
>P.P.S. (presumed response from Bart and Bjoern, or at least someone on
>their side of the pond): It wouldn't matter whether you recognized the
>vulgar name, if the COSPAR ID had been provided.

So should we drop the vulgar name in our program files ? I didn't think
so. ;-)

>P.P.P.S.: I've already spoken about names. I'm very unhappy. I'd
>desperately like to get rid of two of the three systems. I haven't the
>slightest idea how to do that.

One option is to stubbornly refuse to use the other two. We (= the Belgian
Working Group Satellites) have tried that until now. It doesn't work ;-)
>As an accommodation to the existing
>situation, I make a strong effort, not always successful, to mention all
>three whenever I mention any one.

There are so many Americans on SeeSat-L now (59 out of 93) that I thought
the time is ripe to adopt your multiple name approach.

> When Europeans (who devised the similarly arcane X.400 addressing scheme)
>use only the COSPAR ID (which looks like Greek to me), I end up annotating
>their work with either the vulgar name or the catalog number; which is a
>real annoyance in Flash.

If I'm not mistaken the COSPAR ID is the official one, the one that is used
by the Space Division (or whatever) of the United Nations?
The Cospar ID's of satellites launched before 1964 might have looked Greek
to you, but even that has changed now :-)
I prefer the Cospar ID not just for historical reasons (we've always used it),
but also because it actually tells you something about how old the object
is, and which type of object it is.

>P.P.P.P.P.P.S.: If the COSPAR ID is to be used, it would help if somebody
>could decide whether to write 88-50A or 88-050A or 1988-050A or 1988-050 A
>or 88050A or 1988050A. Is there a standard?

The BWGS, through its PPAS format, has adopted the standard to not use
leading zeros, just leading blanks. Hence : 88- 50 A or even 90- 2 B (two
blanks!) and also 86- 19AA. We're safe until 2057, by the way. :-)
Whether other people use this standard, that's an entirely different matter...
88050A is, IMHO, not correct, simply because the official publications of
Cospar have the dash sign.
Received on Fri Apr 28 1995 - 15:54:59 UTC

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