Meaning of "deorbited"?

From: Ed Cannon (ecannon@mail.utexas.edu)
Date: Thu Feb 03 2000 - 01:27:36 PST

  • Next message: Alan Pickup: "Decay watch: 2000 Feb 3"

    I was looking at the visitor's pages of "The Satellite
    Encyclopedia" Web site and found a couple of things 
    that almost seemed like anomalies to me.  One example 
    regards BS/Yuri 3B (21668, 91-60A):
    
    http://www.tbs-satellite.com/tse/online/sat_yuri_3b.html
    
    Under "End of Life" they have "Out of Service" in March
    1999 with the cause being "deorbited".  However, this
    near-geosynch flashing satellite is still in orbit and 
    currently is drifting westward night to night over the
    USA.  Another one like this, said to be "deorbited" but
    still in orbit, is GSTAR 2 (16649, 86-26A):
    
    http://www.TBS-satellite.com/tse/online/sat_gstar_2.html
    
    To be fair, their entry on Lacrosse 1 (19671, 88-106B) 
    has both "deorbited" and "decayed":
    
    http://www.TBS-satellite.com/tse/online/sat_lacrosse_1.html
    
    So, I wonder if the term "deorbited" does not mean "not in 
    orbit any longer" (i.e., decayed or re-entered) as I had 
    assumed, but instead means something like "removed from 
    operational orbit", at least for the retired geosynchs...?
    
    Somewhat relatedly (another terminology issue), I found 
    that on TSE ("The Satellite Encyclopedia"), the Yuri and 
    GStar satellites are classified as being "GE 3000" models, 
    while on Mark Wade's Encyclopedia Astronautica they're 
    called "AS 3000".  Note that this is not the common name of 
    the individual satellites, but the name of the model or 
    series or type of payload produced by one manufacturer.
    
    I think we may have a clear night tonight....
    
    Ed Cannon - ecannon@mail.utexas.edu - Austin, Texas, USA
    
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