Seeking an issue of S.O.N. (Satellite Observation Notes)

From: Ted Molczan via Seesat-l <>
Date: Sat, 26 Apr 2014 09:05:06 -0400
I am seeking the initial orbital elements of 1979-072B / 11490, the 2nd stage of the Delta rocket that orbited Westar 3
on 1979 Aug 10 UTC; a possible source is S.O.N. (Satellite Observation Notes) published by Appleton Laboratory.

USSTRATCOM does not have TLEs, which I suspect may never have been issued, because the object decayed within hours of
launch. USSTRATCOM has partial elements, as does the RAE Table of Earth Satellites, which differ in a way that suggests
a possible depletion burn post spacecraft separation, with the RAE values documenting the results. I have derived
estimated TLEs based on that assumption that appear to correlate with the locations of suspected sightings of a re-entry
fireball and subsequent discovery of two helium spheres in Bolivia.

It is my hope that a nearly complete TLE and perhaps some background information appeared in one of the issues of
S.O.N., that could shed more light on the launch. If anyone has the relevant issue and could provide a scan (preferably
of all pages), I would be pleased to host it on SeeSat-L. (It would be great to be able to host as complete a set of
S.O.N. as possible. I can easily make searchable pdfs from clear scans of individual pages or OCR imaged-based pdfs.)

Ted Molczan

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Received on Sat Apr 26 2014 - 08:06:01 UTC

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