Re: Possible reentry over Texas

Alan Pickup (alan@wingar.demon.co.uk)
Mon, 27 Jan 1997 19:34:06 +0000

In message <199701270335.TAA09132@netcom16.netcom.com>, Allen Thomson
<thomsona@netcom.com> writes
>   This from one of the semi-UFO groups.  People following 
>reentries might like to see if the object can be associated with 
>any known decays.  Otherwise, I suppose we'll have to ascribe it 
>to aliens.  ;) 

Maybe aliens are the best bet :-)

On the 22nd, in an earlier thread concerning UNAMSat 2, Bjoern Gimle
provided elements for the decaying MSX Delta rocket (#23852 = 96- 24 B)
and mentioned that it probably decayed at 09.00 UT on that day. One more
elset appeared, showing it on the brink of decay at 09.02 UT - I can't
imagine it lasting more than a few more minutes.

Here are the final two elsets:
MSX r            5.9  2.4  0.0  5.6 d            144 x 126 km
1 23852U 96024B   97022.31619473  .19968264  20447-5  16774-3 0  4298
2 23852  96.5802 344.6260 0013864  37.4430 322.6499 16.51612999 42077
MSX r            5.9  2.4  0.0  5.6 d            119 x 102 km
1 23852U 96024B   97022.37676412  .99999999  24109-5  41939-3 0  4309
2 23852  96.5767 344.6986 0013684 128.9053 231.6615 16.61056074 42086

However, I don't think it could have dropped over Texas. By my
calculation (and someone more familiar with running ground-track-
plotting software could confirm this) the rocket crossed NNW-bound over
the equator in the W Pacific at 09.02, heading to the E of Hawaii (about
09.08) and onwards to the Bering Strait (09.19 UT). If it were still in
orbit (which I doubt) it would have made a (daylight) southbound pass
near the W edge of the Black Sea at 09.35.

I know of only one other object which re-entered on that day, but STS-81
did not overfly (or deposit anything) on Texas!

Alan
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