Iridium: plane and object positions for the constellation

Walter Nissen (dk058@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Wed, 2 Jun 1999 08:52:29 -0400 (EDT)

With continuing disagreement about the names for the Iridia among those 
who are most prominent in elset distribution, I have been reluctant to 
push very hard for a resolution which would favor the observer, though 
such a result would be very desirable; and have left idle the proposals I 
made for a nomenclature based on the Iridial designations so kindly 
provided by Paul Maley. 
 
Rather, under the influence of inertia, I have continued to update the 
table I prepared, using my own plane and object designations.  The latest 
version is appended to the end of this message.  In this table, the 66 
operating objects form a rectangle at the top.  11 objects in each of 6 
planes form 6 regular undecagons.  Planes, denoted P0 thru P5, follow 
planes across the sky in numerical order, the order shown.  Objects follow 
objects across the sky in numerical order, the order shown (the A objects 
follow 9 and precede 0).  The B, C, etc., objects are (presumably) spares 
for possible future use.  The R objects are replacements of former 
occupants.  The S, T, etc., are tumblers, presumed to be failed objects. 
P4?? 2 is perhaps a spare migrating to another plane.  Columnar 
misalignment to the left indicates objects moving out of plane. 
 
This table is very convenient for observers who wish to know the order of 
passage of objects.  E.g., this can be useful in seeking out the edges of 
accuracy in the glint prediction programs.  Sometimes glints are brighter 
or fainter than predicted.  If you have only 1 or 2 glint predictions and 
you want to know which objects precede or follow, and thus may be readily 
observed, a glance at the table will tell you. 
 
Please, please beware of the confusion caused by the use of the same 
object numbers to refer to different objects!  Whenever there is any 
possibility of confusion, and pending general adoption of one of the 
consistent nomenclatures I have proposed, I always try to provide the 
5-digit catalog number and the COSPAR ID for any object, and much 
appreciate it when others do the same. 
 
I'm sure most of you have read the various comments posted here on 
observations of Ir P4 U 85.  An additional fact which tends to identify 
her as a failed object can be seen by sorting the elsets by mean motion. 
They sort into a number of bands.  Ir P4 U is in the lowest band where all 
her immediate "neighbors" are tumblers.  Above the lowest band is one of 
spares; above that one of tumblers; above that the band of operating 
satellites; and finally, above that a band with just one object, Ir P1B? 
69, which was formerly Ir P15. 
 
On the financial front, the latest I've heard is that Iridium has received 
another 30-day extension to restructure its debt and try to avoid 
bankruptcy. 
 
Of the 11 tumblers, 2 are among the 10 Iridia launched by Long March, 
being 20%; 3 are among 21 launched by Proton, 14%; and 6 are among 55 
launched by Delta (11%+). 
 
Cheers. 
 
Walter Nissen                   dk058@cleveland.freenet.edu 
-81.8637, 41.3735, 256m elevation 
 
--- 
 
Power corrupts.  Absolute power corrupts absolutely.   Lord Acton 
 
--- 
 
    P00  64     P10  46*    P20  32     P30   5     P40   9*    P50  39 
    P01  65     P11  47     P21  33     P31   6     P41  10*    P51  80 
    P02  66     P12R 11A    P22  57     P32   7     P42  54*    P52  17 
    P03  67     P13  49     P23  58     P33   8     P43  12     P53  15 
    P04  68     P14  26     P24  59     P34   4     P44  13     P54  81 
    P05  74     P15R  3     P25  60     P35  37*    P45R 83     P55  38 
    P06  72     P16  22     P26  55     P36  61     P46  16     P56  41 
    P07R 75     P17  23     P27  28     P37  19     P47  50*    P57  43 
    P08  70     P18  76     P28  29     P38  34     P48  56     P58  18* 
    P09  62     P19  25     P29  30     P39  35*    P49  52*    P59  42 
    P0A  63     P1A  45     P2A  31     P3A  36     P4A  53*    P5A  40 
 
    P0C? 73     P1B? 69                 P3 B 51     P4 B 86     P5 B 77 
                P1 D 20A                            P4 C 84     P5 C 82 
                P1 S 24*   P2 S 27                  P4 S 11     P5 S 20* 
                P1 T 71                             P4 T 14     P5 T 44 
               P1 U 48                            P4 U 85     P5 U 21 
                                               P5 V 79 <--------------< 
                                 P4 ?? 2 <----------------< 
 
*   numbers have been confused, resolution uncertain 
 
 
               OIG 
cat # COSPAR      McCants             previous 
24792 97-20A D 8           Ir P33 
24793 97-20B D 7           Ir P32 
24794 97-20C D 6           Ir P31 
24795 97-20D D 5           Ir P30 
24796 97-20E D 4           Ir P34 
24836 97-30A P 14     tum  Ir P4 T   P45 
24837 97-30B P 12          Ir P43 
24838 97-30C P 10  9       Ir P40 
24839 97-30D P 9   10      Ir P41 
24840 97-30E P 13          Ir P44 
24841 97-30F P 16          Ir P46 
24842 97-30G P 11     tum  Ir P4 S 
24869 97-34A D 15          Ir P53 
24870 97-34B D 17          Ir P52 
24871 97-34C D 18  20 tum  Ir P5 S 
24872 97-34D D 20  18      Ir P58 
24873 97-34E D 21     tum  Ir P5 U 
24903 97-43A D 26          Ir P14 
24904 97-43B D 25          Ir P19 
24905 97-43C D 24  46      Ir P10 
24906 97-43D D 23          Ir P17 
24907 97-43E D 22          Ir P16 
24925 97-48A L MFS-Sim1 
24926 97-48B L MFS-Sim2 
24944 97-51A P 29          Ir P28 
24945 97-51B P 32          Ir P20 
24946 97-51C P 33          Ir P21 
24947 97-51D P 27     tum  Ir P2 S 
24948 97-51E P 28          Ir P27 
24949 97-51F P 30          Ir P29 
24950 97-51G P 31          Ir P2A 
24965 97-56A D 19          Ir P37 
24966 97-56B D 37  35      Ir P39 
24967 97-56C D 36          Ir P3A 
24968 97-56D D 35  37      Ir P35 
24969 97-56E D 34          Ir P38 
25039 97-69A D 43          Ir P57 
25040 97-69B D 41          Ir P56 
25041 97-69C D 40          Ir P5A 
25042 97-69D D 39          Ir P50 
25043 97-69E D 38          Ir P55 
25077 97-77A L 42          Ir P59 
25078 97-77B L 44     tum  Ir P5 T 
25104 97-82A D 45          Ir P1A 
25105 97-82B D 46  24 tum  Ir P1 S 
25106 97-82C D 47          Ir P11 
25107 97-82D D 48     tum  Ir P1 U   P12 
25108 97-82E D 49          Ir P13 
25169 98-10A D 50  52      Ir P49 
25170 98-10B D 56          Ir P48 
25171 98-10C D 52  54      Ir P42 
25172 98-10D D 53  50      Ir P47 
25173 98-10E D 54  53      Ir P4A 
25262 98-18A L 51          Ir P3 B 
25263 98-18B L 61          Ir P36 
25272 98-19A D 55          Ir P26 
25273 98-19B D 57          Ir P22 
25274 98-19C D 58          Ir P23 
25275 98-19D D 59          Ir P24 
25276 98-19E D 60          Ir P25 
25285 98-21A P 62          Ir P09 
25286 98-21B P 63          Ir P0A 
25287 98-21C P 64          Ir P00 
25288 98-21D P 65          Ir P01 
25289 98-21E P 66          Ir P02 
25290 98-21F P 67          Ir P03 
25291 98-21G P 68          Ir P04 
25319 98-26A L 69          Ir P1B?   P15 
25320 98-26B L 71     tum  Ir P1 T 
25342 98-32A D 70          Ir P08 
25343 98-32B D 72          Ir P06 
25344 98-32C D 73          Ir P0C?   P07 
25345 98-32D D 74          Ir P05 
25346 98-32E D 75          Ir P07R   P0 B 
25431 98-48A L 03  3       Ir P15R 
25432 98-48B L 76          Ir P18 
25467 98-51A D 82          Ir P5 C 
25468 98-51B D 81          Ir P54 
25469 98-51C D 80          Ir P51 
25470 98-51D D 79     tum  Ir P5 V 
25471 98-51E D 77          Ir P5 B 
25527 98-66A D 2           Ir P4?? 
25528 98-66B D 86          Ir P4 B 
25529 98-66C D 85     /?/  Ir P4 U 
25530 98-66D D 84          Ir P4 C 
25531 98-66E D 83          Ir P45R 
25577 98-74A L 11A         Ir P12R   P1 C 
25578 98-74B L 20A         Ir P1 D
             ^
             L______  Launch vehicle