Erratum, UnID, elsets, etc., etc.

From: Walter Nissen <dk058_at_cleveland.Freenet.Edu>
Date: Mon, 15 May 1995 18:17:32 -0400

Thanks very much for the responses concerning my UnID. Merci beaucoup.
Besides what was posted to SeeSat-L, Mike McCants sent the following
interesting info:
> I have only seen that Meteor once, and when I saw it, it looked
> like all the others. The QS prediction was mag 5.0. But these payloads
> have solar panels, so it is possible for them to be much brighter
> for a little while.
> >Query: Could this UnID have been a southern hemisphere Molniya? (Is
> >there any such thing?)
> Nope, there isn't any such thing. (And they aren't all that bright anyway.)
"These payloads have solar panels"; so according to Bart, M* 1-17 = 07274
= 74-25A may or may not be operational. And according to me, it is very
doubtful indeed that it is operational. If I am putting words in Bart's
mouth, concerning when solar panel glints can occur, I am sure he will
"clarify" my misstatements.
> But why does that sat not exist in the other
> files while it is so bright?
Ted Molczan's file contains all of certain classes of satellites, and only
representative objects of other classes. I guess not all of the M*
satellites are maintained. I'd love to know, e.g., if the 47 payloads
beginning with C* 1025 = 10973 = 78-67A are the only ones which would be
considered members of the C* 1933 family (presumably, incl = 82.5, 650 km
initial orbit).
There are a lot of satellites. It is hard to keep track of all of them.
And I guess M* 1-17 isn't usually that bright.
Another way to get an elset for 22251, usually the most current, is by
looking at Ted Molczan's file, also available at
> STSPLUS. Evidently SATPRO doesn't retain the last set of numbers from
> lines 1 and 2 which I think are checksums of some type and STSPLUS needs
Programs should check "checksums" and report failure, not fail themselves.
Short of fixing STSPLUS, you could calculate the checksum yourself.
Although I have never found a convenient way to do that. Maybe John
Gardner has a utility that will go thru an elset file and "correct" them
all. Checksum is a very primitive data integrity feature of little value
in the present environment. It was quite useful when T. S. Kelso typed
them in by the hundred from printouts to make them available on his
Celestial BBS.
I reiterate this request:
I think the mags given in Ted Molczan's file are derived from the presumed
size. Another source of sizes is the RCS (radar cross section) in the SSR
(Satellite Situation Report). Widespread distribution of this latter is
relatively recent. I don't know which is most useful. Any opinions?
A network news story last night reports that a 20-story Titan (the 4th
this year) was successfully launched from Cape Canaveral yesterday morning
(the 14th, I presume) carrying a secret military payload.
Erratum: Of late, Monday updates at OIG have been scheduled in the
afternoon, not the morning.


Never throw away an elset.
Received on Mon May 15 1995 - 18:31:18 UTC

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