Re: Molczan's TLE format after Dec 31

Bjoern Gimle (
Thu, 30 Dec 1999 07:50:12 +0100

>In the epoch, the leading zeroes of the day of year have been dropped,
>was common NORAD practice when I wrote my program, in the late '80s. That
>or may not have been common practice in recent years, but I have not
>My programming experience (BASIC, FORTRAN) leads me to believe that blank
>spaces in numeric fields are always read as zeros, so the decision to show
>leading zeros is mainly one of aesthetics. I will take a close look at

Though many languages treat spaces as zero, most sort programs don't. So
those (like me) who depend on external sort utilities to sort elsets in
Epoch order, would like to see a consistent format.

Also, tests show that QuickSat (Fortran) and Vec2Tle need the zero for year
(Vec2Tle needs full zerofill, but since each elset to be processed is first
displayed, it is easy to correct the format on the fly).


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