"Disco Ball"

From: Russ Bessom (russbessom@desurf.com)
Date: Tue Jan 01 2002 - 17:30:06 EST

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    Ed wrote
    > Is EGP/Ajisai still rotating due to its high orbit?  Its
    > diameter is 2.14 meters; mass is 685 kg.  Its apparently
    > rapid rotation and the brightness of its flashes from
    > such a high orbit make me wonder if quite a bit faster
    > rotation would be better for Starshines.
    Hi Ed and list,     EGS/EGP is definitely spinning faster than .5 RPM's
    I wasn't aware of it's large diameter.  I thought it was around 60 cm's.
    Anyway, I observed this satellite last night (before the kids started firing
    rockets off) at 19:11:17s traveling through Cygnus (RA 20h 29m 40s / Dec
    +29d 50m 51s)
    The name of this satellite should be "Disco Ball".  Kevin is right, what a
    flasher!  I started out observing with my 37x binos (wow! what a sight) then
    to a pair of 10x50's to see if I could still see it.  No problem!  I think
    that satellite should
    be the benchmark of all other flashers I would think one would look at the
    design specs
    on this sat for possible design changes to the Starshine series.
    I realize if the size (2.14m) is the actual size of EGS than of course it
    won't be much help to Starshine engineers with their 48cm (I think) limit.
    a picture of the sat can be found here:
    > Experimental Geophysical Payload; new launch vehicle test flight. EGS
    (Ajisai). Improvement of the accuracy of domestic geodetic triangulation
    network. Determination of accurate location of remote islands. Clarification
    of the relationship between Japanese geodetic system network and those of
    other areas of the world. Launch vehicle H-I (two-stage) . Launching
    organization NASDA.
    Current TLE's can be found at:
    Until Starshine sats are easier to see, grab a kid and show'em this sat!
    Please don't get me wrong, I think Project Starshine is a fantastic learning
    tool for all ages, especially the kids and their teachers directly involved
    polishing the mirrors.
    Cheers to Daniel Deak
    Happy 2002 to all
    Russ Bessom - russbessom@desurf.com - Zweibruecken Germany
    Lat 49.14.0 N / Long 7.19.0 E - 325m
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