RE: Satobs 19 June 2007

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Mon Jun 18 2007 - 09:23:36 EDT

  • Next message: Ted Molczan: "NOSS 3-4 approximate elements"

    Scott Campbell wrote:
    > I think I may have located the latest NOSS objects.  The 
    > first pair were close with A in the lead.
    I agree. They were nearly 58 s late and 2.26 deg off the track of the elset I
    posted yesterday:
    My analysis of your observations is not yet complete, but it has lead me to
    conclude that the bright trail below the propellant cloud, in certain of Babak
    A. Tafreshi's photos, which I took to be the NOSS payloads, is in fact the
    On closer examination, I have now found a fainter trail, parallel to that of the
    Centaur, but apparently within the propellant cloud (or at least in the same
    line of sight), which apparently is that of the payloads. In the above photo, if
    you consider the lower boundary of the trail of the propellant cloud, then the
    Centaur is readily visible a short distance below, and parallel to the boundary.
    The fainter payload trail parallels the cloud boundary and the Centaur trail,
    but is above the cloud boundary by almost the same distance that the Centaur is
    below it.
    My preliminary orbit (below) obtained by fitting your points of your lead object
    of last night, and Ed Cannon's most accurate point of his lead object of two
    nights ago, accurately predicts the path of this faint second trail.
    1 31701U 07027A   07169.11694844  .00000020  00000-0  20000-4 0    09
    2 31701  62.6639  39.9736 0226981 161.9433 195.4170 13.65633615    04
    I have not completed my analysis, so this may yet change somewhat. I will post
    the final result ASAP.
    A quick note on the IDs of the objects. We should adhere to the convention that
    we have adopted for the NOSS 3 launches, such that the payloads are the A and C
    objects (we try to have A as the leader, but sometimes they swap positions), and
    the Centaur is the B object. 
    This makes the best of a bad situation, in which USSTRATCOM catalogues only
    single payload as the "A" object, and the Centaur as "B", plus a piece of debris
    as "C". The debris may or may not exist, but NOSS 3 launches certainly result in
    two payloads; therefore, we find it convenient to use "C" for the second
    payload. The "C" object may not be catalogued for days or weeks; in the
    meantime, I suggest we use 71703 as a pseudo-catalogue number.
    > The third object may not have been associated with the first two
    > as it was 96 seconds in trail.
    Your third object is Cosmos 2285 r  (94045B / 23190).
    Ted Molczan
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