USA 129 post-manoeuvre elements

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Mon Dec 29 2003 - 21:36:18 EST

  • Next message: paul: "obs 30dec 03364 8305"

    Greg's computer guided video camera proved its worth again by making the
    recovery. The manoeuvre was much larger than expected, which was the main reason
    that Tony did not recover it.
    Observation arc 2003 Dec 28.84 - 29.86 UTC:
    USA 129         15.0  3.0  0.0  5.3 v
    1 24680U 96072A   03363.80283538  .00021846  00000-0  23910-3 0    08
    2 24680  97.7982  63.1278 0550000  84.6517 281.7163 14.71884965    03
    WRMS residuals = 0.017 deg
    I constrained the solution by fixing the inclination and the perigee distance at
    their pre-manoeuvre values, because I did not expect them to be significantly
    The solution also assumes an instantaneous manoeuvre on 2003 Dec 18 at 12:54:02
    UTC, which was the first perigee after Tony made the final pre-manoeuvre
    observation. The manoeuvre could not have occurred any earlier, but could have
    occurred at a subsequent perigee; additional observations may enable the actual
    manoeuvre time to be determined.
    Also, Greg Roberts has pointed out to me that I was incorrect in stating that he
    made the first negative observation on Dec 21; Tony made the first negative obs
    on Dec 20 at 12:43 UTC. I apologize for the error.
    Ted Molczan
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