Another OIG mystery

Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Mon, 15 Feb 1999 03:07:59 -0600

Another object -- While I was querying OIG I thought I'd query 
on #23907, which on SeeSat is NOSS 2-3 Rk (a Titan 4 predicted 
by Alan Pickup to decay in early March, and usually very easy 
to see on a good pass, unless the observer gets the bad side 
of a tumble).  OIG seems to think that it's a payload:

> Query return total: 1
> Query Date: 1999/02/15 08:28:41
>
> Satellite Object Number: Ascending Order
>
> IntID/Name   CatNo Source period   Incl Apogee Perigee      RCS
> ------------ ----- ------ ------ ------ ------ ------- --------
>
> 1996-029B    23907 US        0.0    0.0      0       0   0.0000
> USA 120                   Launched (1996/05/12) 

Then I looked in the SSR for all 1996-029* objects  and found 
these (sorted on cat. no.; from Mike McCants' format):

> 23862 96-029D  USA 122               US   05/12/96 NO ELEMENTS AVAILABLE
> 23863 96-029G  USA 119-124 DEB       US   05/12/96 NO ELEMENTS AVAILABLE
> 23893 96-029A  USA 119               US   05/12/96 NO ELEMENTS AVAILABLE
> 23907 96-029B  USA 120               US   05/12/96 NO ELEMENTS AVAILABLE
> 23908 96-029C  USA 121               US   05/12/96 NO ELEMENTS AVAILABLE
> 23936 96-029E  USA 123               US   05/12/96 NO ELEMENTS AVAILABLE
> 23937 96-029F  USA 124               US   05/12/96 NO ELEMENTS AVAILABLE
> 23938 96-029H  USA 119-124 DEB       US   05/12/96 NO ELEMENTS AVAILABLE
> 23939 96-029J  USA 119-124 DEB       US   05/12/96 NO ELEMENTS AVAILABLE
> 25609 96-029K  USA 119-124 DEB       US   05/12/96 NO ELEMENTS AVAILABLE
> 25610 96-029L  USA 119-124 DEB       US   05/12/96 NO ELEMENTS AVAILABLE

23862 is NOSS 2-3 (D); 23907 is the Titan IV; 23908 is NOSS 2-3 (C); 
23936 is NOSS 2-3 (E); and 23937 is TiPS.  That leaves six objects,
five of them "DEB".

Well, lately they've released elements for classified objects 
predicted to decay soon.  If they do the same with the NOSS 2-3 
Titan IV, what will its catalog number be?

Congratulations to Russell Eberst on all those observations!

Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, Texas