Soyuz rocket (97- 3B) - decay watch

Alan Pickup (alan@wingar.demon.co.uk)
Wed, 12 Feb 1997 23:36:24 +0000

After a gap of almost 9 hours, OIG have yielded another elset for the
decaying Soyuz rocket. The two latest elsets are:
Soyuz-U                                          189 x 162 km
1 24718U 97003B   97043.48408757  .05888469  12352-4  59726-3 0   209
2 24718  51.6228 352.4352 0020133  78.0567 282.2667 16.36351866   316
Soyuz-U                                          167 x 153 km
1 24718U 97003B   97043.84987851  .09654105  12478-4  46345-3 0   211
2 24718  51.6130 350.3809 0010658  83.5779 276.6559 16.42175977   376

These show it running 4 and 34 seconds late with respect to the SatEvo
orbital evolution I posted earlier today.

I now predict that decay will occur at about February 13.10 (approx
02.30 UT). Predicted elsets for the final revs are:
Soyuz-U                                          161 x 148 km
1 24718U 97003B   97043.91066281  .15706859  22557+0  48548-3 0 90215
2 24718  51.6125 350.0355 0009277  83.8360 276.2697 16.44281674   381
Soyuz-U                                          154 x 144 km
1 24718U 97003B   97043.97139412  .21276234  45402+0  43362-3 0 90217
2 24718  51.6119 349.6894 0007653  84.0946 275.9926 16.46489193   395
Soyuz-U                                          144 x 136 km
1 24718U 97003B   97044.03202662  .35124595  14542+1  40658-3 0 90217
2 24718  51.6110 349.3426 0005578  84.3538 275.7098 16.49750716   403
Soyuz-U                                          118 x 116 km
1 24718U 97003B   97044.09247764 3.62050884  50000+2  11536-2 0 90219
2 24718  51.6096 348.9943 0001818  84.6141 275.4066 16.58593819   413

With its northern apex (the most northerly point in its orbit) over N
America at the suggested decay time, and with perigee within a few
degrees of this point, there is a chance that the decay will be
observable by some SeeSaters. Ground tracks for the final two passes:

      Time (UT)  Lat(N)  Long (W)
       h   m
      01  00     41.5     124.7
      01  05     50.2      99.0
      01  10     51.0      67.6

      02  30     47.6     132.3
      02  35     51.8     102.4
      02  40     47.1      72.1

Good luck!

Alan
-- 
 Alan Pickup | COSPAR site 2707:  55d53m48.7s N   3d11m51.2s W  156m asl
 Edinburgh   | Home:    alan@wingar.demon.co.uk      +44 (0)131 477 9144
 Scotland    | Royal Observatory: A.Pickup@roe.ac.uk +44 (0)131 668 8224