RE: Unknown satellites: request for IDs

Mike McCants (mike@comshare.com)
Tue, 4 Jun 1996 20:03:20 -0500

The "middle" observations from

1995 12 29.84432 11 14 27.76 +38 18 27.6
through
1995 12 29.85375 11 18 31.46 +36 06 37.3

are fit by the Cosmos 1974 rocket:

1 19557U 88092  D 96004.94805890 -.00000731  00000-0  10000-3 0  5246
2 19557  66.5697   7.0236 6147413 309.3129  10.4510  2.04120446 54080

  ***  95 Dec 28/29   Thu evening/ Fri morning  *** Times are UT ***

NCT 19557 C 1974 Block L 88-092D  6.4 M 4.0 ELDY -6 M2   -7

 MAG    HGT ALT AZI  HRS MIN     R  A    DEC  RANGE
12.1  22211  81  82   20   0   11  9.5  40.8  22254
12.1  22094  82  94   20  10   11 12.7  39.2  22126
12.1  21945  83 108   20  20   11 15.7  37.6  21971
12.1  21765  83 126   20  30   11 18.7  36.0  21788

------

I can't match the last observation with any known high altitude object.

However, it is matched to 5 seconds in time and 0.05 degrees in
position with this relatively low object, Cosmos 1716:

1 16449U 86002  A 95362.12192334 -.00000001  00000-0  10000-3 0  4698
2 16449  73.9861  18.8983 0017336 149.5393 210.6662 12.46761145453665

***  95 Dec  29  Fri evening  *** Times are PM UT  ***   944 2238

16449 Cosmos 1716              .77      
 H  M  S  Tim Al  Az  Dir  Mag Dys F  Hgt Shd  Rng  EW Phs  R A   Dec
10  1 51  0.0 77 251C 267  9.3   2 0  915 697  934 1.0  63 1124  35.0
10  2 37  0.0 72 209  226  9.5   2 0  915 731  954 1.0  70 1147  23.8

-----

The first 6 observations appear to be a relatively bright object
at a range of 22000 miles.  Of course the inclination of 63.6
suggests an eccentric 12 hour orbit. 

Of course 2.006 mean motion would be "nice".  The following elset
gives "zero" residuals:

1 99999U          95363.47096110 0.00000000  00000-0  00000+0 0    01
2 99999  63.6860   6.3781 7160000 272.0170  87.9830  2.00600000    03

But the following elset and many related elsets also give zero
residuals.

1 99999U          95363.47838008 0.00000000  00000-0  00000+0 0    01
2 99999  63.6200   6.0781 7400000 272.0170  87.9830  2.13580000    06

Maybe a Centaur from a classified launch?

Mike McCants
mike@comshare.com