Re: Has Tiangong 1 gone rogue

From: Marco Langbroek via Seesat-l <>
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2016 11:33:21 +0200
Op 31-3-2016 om 0:49 schreef Kevin Fetter via Seesat-l:

Xinhua says the following 

"The functions of the space laboratory and target orbiter have been disabled 
after an extended service period of about two and a half years, although it 
remains in designed orbit, according to the office"

That is ambiguous wording: it might be read as meaning that the station was 
intentionally put in dormant state ("have been disabled"), which is something 
different than a loss of contact.

In that case, it could be that they intend to have it come down for a while by 
natural decay, and then revive it for a deorbit burn when it is at a lower 
orbital altitude than it is now. One reason to do so is when the amount of fuel 
left after its extended mission is not enough to deorbit it from its current 
orbital altitude.

But then again, maybe they do mean an actual loss of contact with it. Well, 
we'll see what happens.

If it ends with a fully natural decay and re-entry, then based on a fixed F10.7 
flux of 100 and the element sets of last month, current SatEvo estimates for 
re-entry vary between April 2017 and January 2018, i.e. mid 2017 to early 2018.

- Marco

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Received on Thu Mar 31 2016 - 04:34:11 UTC

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