Re: Inmarsat Rkt missing? revisited

Ron Lee (
Thu, 19 Dec 1996 14:44:45 -0700 (MST)

I just searched my biggie element set file and could NOT find
a 96053D piece in supersynch orbit.   It appears that I either
do not have the elements or it has not been catalogued yet.

The later would be hard to explain.  Thus the Proton DM rkt
appears to still be missing.

I Did check the Goddard database and found the two LEO RKTs
missing (#24308 and 24309).  Assume they have decayed.
Object 24310 is a 26.7 deg inc,  13.27 rev/day object.  
No Iternational Designator provided.

Ron Lee

At 22:53 96/12/16 -0500, you wrote:
>Background information - Inmarsat 3 F2 was launched on a Khrunichev Proton
>rocket on September 6th.  We now review previous messages to Seesat-L

>I verified that the GE-4000 bus was modified so it did not include an
>Apogee Kick Motor (a first for that satellite bus) and the Proton DM upper
>stage was used to put the satellite in to a true geostationary ( MM = 1, e
>= 0, i = 0) orbit.  This is the normal Proton comsat launch profile, with
>the DM stage performing the perigee and apogee burns and final inclination
>removal.  So the DM stage is now in a geosynchronous drift orbit.
>I would not expect to see any significant size medium eccentricity object
>from this launch, but would expect to see an additional object in
>geosynchronous orbit.
>It's *possible* that either the B or C object is the DM stage, captured on
>NORAD radars early in its ascent, and presumably eventually will be
>cataloged in geosynchronous drift orbit.

>Philip Chien, KC4YER
>Earth News - space writer and consultant
>note new E-mail address -