Ephemerides for Falcon Heavy hardware?

From: Bill Gray via Seesat-l <seesat-l_at_satobs.org>
Date: Mon, 5 Feb 2018 22:18:31 -0500
Hello all,

    A question has come up on the Minor Planet Mailing List
about the possibility of tracking hardware from the Falcon
Heavy launch,  especially bits going into heliocentric orbit.
Problem is,  we don't actually know where to look.  We're
really more "rock" oriented than "artificial object" oriented,
so I thought I'd ask opinions on this list (as I've done before
a few times.)  I made a few comments on MPML about this launch :


    For various reasons,  we like to get at least a few images of
any bits and bobs that our species sends into heliocentric orbit.
We've sometimes seen unexpected parts fall off (there were some
pieces that we think were ice chunks that came off of the
Planck/Herschel mission and some unidentified debris from ExoMars,
for example).  We also would like to be able to identify objects
should they come back to our neighborhood,  which has happened a
few times.  We've been able to ID a few such objects,  such as the
SIV-B stage from Apollo 12 that was temporarily captured in 2003.
But such identifications are a lot easier if we know what's been
launched and in what direction it was last seen to be going.

    So... does anyone have a source of predicted ephemerides for the
pieces of this launch that will enter heliocentric orbit?

    And if you get observations,  I will definitely be all ears!

Thank you,       -- Bill
Seesat-l mailing list
Received on Mon Feb 05 2018 - 21:19:36 UTC

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