Re: NOSS Breakups

From: Mike McCants (
Date: Mon Aug 21 2006 - 17:53:08 EDT

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    Brad Young posted:
    >Regarding NOSS objects like NOSS 2-3, which is separating; what causes these
    >triplets / pairs to "break up"?
    The active pairs/triplets must be maintained with continual (very
    small) orbital adjustments.  The NOSS 3 objects showed extensive
    manuevering after launch before the final orbit positioning was
    performed.  At least one of the very old NOSS triplets was allowed
    to disperse somewhat and then was subsequently re-formed (many years
    The objects out in front of the current NOSS 2-2 and NOSS 2-3
    former triplets (now pairs) were deliberately moved out front with
    small maneuvers.  One of these "out front" objects now shows
    large variations in brightness with a period of 2 or 3 minutes.
    My assumption is that the software has been changed so that the
    same information can be obtained with an offset pair of objects
    like the NOSS 3 pairs so that the NOSS 2 triplets can be converted
    into pairs.  Thus one NOSS 2 object of each triplet is superfluous
    and could be moved "out front" and either decomissioned or retained
    as a spare.  But this has not been done for the NOSS 2-1 triplet.
    Mike McCants
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