Year 2000 Problem for TLEs??

Robert Sheaffer (
Thu, 21 Aug 1997 14:59:11 -0700 (PDT)

I noticed that the Two-Line Element sets (TLEs) that everyone is using
utilize two digits for the year, followed by day-of-year and
fraction of day. 

What with all we're hearing about the forthcoming cyber-calamity of the
"year 2000 problem" (when lots of programs crash or foul up when they
cannot calculate the date correctly), can anyone state with certainty:
do the common Two-Line Elements files suffer from the "year 2000 problem",
or do they not?

In other words: will all our satellite prediction programs come to a
screeching halt on Jan. 1, 2000, or will we be OK? (And if we will
be OK, for HOW LONG will we be OK? Maybe the catastrophe is postponed to
the year 2057, the 100th anniversary of Sputnik, or some such date?)

        Robert Sheaffer - - Skeptical to the Max!
             my new GPS tells me I'm at 37 deg 17.3' N., 
                 121 deg 59.2' west (San Jose, CA) 

         Visit my Home Page -
          Skeptical Resources Debunking All Manner of Bogus Claims
               Also: Opera / Astronomy / Mens Issues / more