Re: (Very) bright geosync satellite

Rainer Kracht (
Sun, 21 Jul 96 17:56 +0100

>Date: Sat, 20 Jul 1996 18:46:23 -0400 (EDT)
>To: seesat-L <>
>Subject: Re: (Very) bright geosync satellite

>> (Very) bright geosync satellite
>> I observed UNK960713 again on July 18. It brightened from mag 9.1
>> (22:30 UTC) to mag 7.3 (23:38).
>This is hard to observe since it only gets to 1 deg. above my eastern 
>horizon.  Can't you put it a little more west for me please?     :)

Just found :"Maiden flight of Titan-4/Centaur launch vehicle carried
first Milstar-1 military communications satellite, also called DFS 1
(Development Flight Satellite) and USA 99. Satellite structure is a
series of boxes with a total length of 47 metres and a span over the two
solar panel vanes of 106 metres: mass quoted above [4670 kg] includes
propellant." (from Worldwide Satellite Launches prepared by Phillip S.

This is a good match for a very bright geosync satellite (so UNK960713
seems to be Milstar DFS 2). Be that as it may, there are more of them.
There is one more Milstar and there are the Magnum/Mentor/Orion satellites
with their large (diameter 76 m?) antenna dishes. Perhaps one of them
is stationed farther west, so that Jay can observe it?

 Rainer Kracht  1996 July 21
 +9.6626E, +53.7695N, 9m