RE: Updated 96072B elset

Ted Molczan (molczan@fox.nstn.ca)
Mon, 30 Dec 1996 21:21:40 -0500

Earlier I wrote:

>USA 29 r         9.8  3.0  0.0  2.1 
>1 24681U 96072  B 96365.52702280  .01097930  00000-0  60914-3 0    05
>2 24681  97.9137  65.7868 0533247 138.5609 225.6069 15.12918679    04
>
>The name and identifiers reflect our belief that this object is the
>Titan 2nd stage, not the payload. The elements are based on 7 points

Except that it should be USA 129 r!

And here is Pierre's latest iteration:

USA 129 r        9.8  3.0  0.0  2.1 v
1 24681U 96072  B 96365.52701960  .01098464  00000-0  48295-3 0    00
2 24681  97.8894  65.7965 0537085 137.5212 226.7609 15.12923644    04

Regarding the issue of the object's unusual brightness, Rainer Kracht
reports that he has found that not all Titan 2nd stages have the same
brightness. For example, 96029B's std mag is 3.74, while 91017B's is
4.89. This narrows the gap somewhat, but 96072B's std mag seems to be
between 2 and 3. On the 30th, I found that 2.1 fit the obs well.

Regarding my speculation about heating at perigee causing out-gassing,
Alan Pickup advises that the atmospheric density at 160 km probably is 
too low to cause heating.

Finally, here is a slightly revised search orbit for the payload:

USA 129 search  15.0  3.0  0.0  5.1 v
1 24680U 96072  A 96350.75277778  .00000000  00000-0  00000-0 0    00
2 24680  97.9100  50.7000 0543000 173.0000   0.0000 14.74000000    09

As I stated earlier, this is for searching only - it is not predictive.

Clear skies!
Ted