Recovered historical TLEs of a few objects

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Sat Apr 20 2013 - 14:30:54 UTC

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    This will be of interest mainly to TLE archivists.
    >From mid-1986 until the early 1990s, I received regular paper printouts of TLEs from NASA/GSFC/OIG, all of which I have
    retained. For the first several years they consisted of all TLEs of all unclassified objects, printed in three
    installments per week; in later years they were issued weekly, and contained the latest TLE of all unclassified payloads
    and rocket bodies, plus a small number of user-requested objects, e.g. Pageos fragments.
    Most of the same data subsequently found its way into the electronic database built by NASA/GSFC/OIG, that is now
    maintained by USSTRATCOM. Unfortunately, some unclassified TLEs are missing from that archive. They may have been lost
    (misfiled, unreadable storage media, etc.), or simply overlooked when the electronic archive was assembled in the
    When I require TLEs that are unavailable in USSTRATCOM's Space Track archive or in Jonathan McDowell's archive, then I
    look for other sources. If the TLEs were issued during the span of my paper archive, then I look there, and I usually
    find at least some of what I need.
    Recently, I have been working to compile a comprehensive list of visually observed re-entries from Earth orbit, which
    has necessitated the use of historical TLEs to verify/identify sightings. More about that soon, but in the meantime I
    wish to share TLEs of a few objects from the late 1980's that I recovered from my paper archive during the course of
    this work.
    Some of the data requires explanation, which I have addressed by means of notes within the file.
    Please feel free to use the data as you wish. I will consider requests for provenance, which if I agree to provide it,
    will be in the form of scans of the pages from which the data was taken.
    Ted Molczan
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