RE: Babylon 1 minor orbit change?

Philip Chien (kc4yer@amsat.org)
Fri, 18 Jun 1999 18:33:01 -0400

"Matson, Robert" <ROBERT.D.MATSON@cpmx.saic.com> said:

>Cosmos 100 R/B (#1844) was the culprit.  The orbits were predicted to come
>within 0.5 km of each other, with the closest approach between ISS and
>C100r in those orbits at about 5 km on Sunday, June 13th at 13:31:08 UTC
>using:
>
>ISS             20.0  4.0  0.0  1.0 d
>1 25544U 98067A   99167.68952555  .00013892  00000-0  18156-3 0  7026
>2 25544  51.5933 200.3662 0011139 353.4457   6.6373 15.58886879 32525
>
>Cosmos 100 R/B   3.8  2.6  0.0  5.1 v
>1 01844U 65106B   99165.18169485 +.00044156 +00000-0 +48026-3 0 00542
>2 01844 064.9648 150.7715 0018472 280.6070 079.3000 15.62990609834435
>
>COLA output:
>
>   Date     UTC Time   Norad         Name        Range/OrbSep  NdAng EphAge
> 6/13/1999 13:31:07.86  1844 Cosmos 100 R/B        4.9/   0.5   84.0  -0.62

What's especially interesting in this case is both objects were in sunlight
while the ground was in darkness.  This occured over the Bering Sea, and
anybody in the Alleutian Islands, weather permitting, would have seen two
separate spacecraft on converging paths criss-crossing each other.  And
unlike most cases where the conjunction would be an optical illusion, in
this case it would have been a true physical encounter.  Certainly if there
was a crew onboard and they knew which direction to look it would have been
incredibly impressive (read: scary) although it would also have been
incredibly rapid.

Based on keps before and afterwards as far as I can tell no maneuevers were
performed by Babylon 1.

Now if I can get the weather to cooperate there's some excellent visual
passes for Starshine and Babylon 1 over the next several days.
Unfortunately the Air Force seems to be rather uncooperative in aranging
good weather for me for the next couple of days.



Philip Chien, KC4YER
Earth News
world (in)famous writer, science fiction fan, ham radio operator,
all-around nice guy, etc.