Cosmos 185 (fwd)

Larry Klaes (
Tue, 11 Jun 1996 09:19:59 -0400 (EDT)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 10 Jun 96 19:12:31 EDT
From: Phillip Clark <>
To: Multiple recipients of list <>
Subject: Cosmos 185

Following the recent posting concerning observations of the Cosmos 185 
rocket body .......

The Cosmos 185 mission is one of the early flights which has still to be 
fully explained, although the "conventional wisdom" suggests that it was 
related to the ASAT programme.   Charles Sheldon in his Library of 
Congress reports indicated an initial 370-546 km orbit at 64 degrees, but 
the available tracking data only shows 64.1 degrees, 518-873 km, close to 
the announced orbit.

Two objects were catalogued from the October 27, 1967 launch: 1967-104A 
(#3013) which decayed from orbit on January 14, 1969 and 1967-104B 
(#3019) which is still in orbit.   The rapid decay of 1967-104A is 
suggestive of a large cross-section but a low mass, and is very 
unusual.   Such behaviour does not fit in with the ASAT payload and target 
which we have seen.

The launch vehicle was the two-stage Tsyklon-2 11K67 vehicle: if the 
second stage of the Tsyklon-2 is the same as that of the Tsyklon-M 
(11K69) and three-stage Tsyklon (11K68) and it is 1967-104B then it will 
be a cylinder, 3 metres diameter and 10.9 metres long.   Alternatively, 
the two stages of the Tsyklon-2 could have been sub-orbital (as with the 
RORSAT missions) and 1967-104B could be a small manoeuvring kick-stage 
which separated from the payload after final orbital injection.

I would be interested in any deductions which could be made from 
visual observations concerning the size of 1967-104B since that would say 
whether it is a full Tsyklon-2 second stage or a smaller manoeuvring stage.

Phillip Clark