RE: OIG Catalog Action Report for the week ending August 21

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Sat Aug 21 2004 - 18:04:15 EDT

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    Paul Henney asked about the recent satellite catalog updates of the status of
    the Magellan Venus probe and the Lunar Prospector to "decayed":
    > Some error ?
    > An OIG peculiarity?
    Any errors or peculiarities are the responsibility of USSTRATCOM:
    Relevant quotes:
    "The Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Space Communications Program (Code
    450)provides access to unclassified satellite orbital data that has been
    received from United States Strategic Command (USSTRATCOM), 1st Space Control
    Squadron (1SPCS), and Flight Dynamics Facility (FDF).  This orbital data
    consists of Two-Line Element (TLE) sets, Satellite Catalog Messages, Project
    Tip Messages, Satellite Decay Messages, Predicted Decay Forecasts, Satellite
    Box Scores, Satellite Reports, NASA Orbital Elements and Shuttle Vectors."
    "The site is not responsible for the accuracy of the data, and does no
    modification on the data."
    > Why are these so late?
    USSTRATCOM is concerned with surveillance of Earth orbit, so once an object
    escapes Earth orbit, and is not expected to return, it is likely to have a low
    priority for catalog updates. For supporting evidence, consider the appended
    results of a few of my random queries of the satellite catalog on OIG.
    Galileo supposedly still orbits the Sun, which I guess is true, but as a part of
    Jupiter's mass!
    Meanwhile, Cassini and NEAR are known to have been launched, but that's about
    Ted Molczan
    IntID/Name   CatNo Source period   Incl Apogee Perigee      RCS
    ------------ ----- ------ ------ ------ ------ ------- --------
    1989-084B    20298 US     Heliocentric orbit
    GALILEO                   Launched (1989/10/18) 
    1996-008A    23784 US        0.0    0.0      0       0   0.0000
    NEAR                      Launched (1996/02/17) 
    1997-061A    25008 US        0.0    0.0      0       0   0.0000
    CASSINI                   Launched (1997/10/15) 
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