Re: Cosmos 1220 - FYI

From: Allen Thomson (
Date: Sun May 20 2001 - 08:31:49 PDT

  • Next message: Greg Roberts: "WSRN"

    From: "Bjoern Gimle"
    > I believe it is similar in design and mission to the EORSATs
    > with MM=15.52, that have been operating in pairs or triplets for
    > many years (1-2 years/satellite). Instead of being deorbited at the
    > end of the useful lifetime, it ended up in a higher orbit.
    > They were described as '6.0 0.0 0.0' ,i.e. spheres, in TLEs, and I
    > have seen a fair number of passes, always at +1 - +2 at short range.
    > However, images indicate a cylindrical shape.
    A reasonably accurate depiction of an EORSAT is at
    The platform, if the solar arrays are still attached, will obviously have
    quite different projected areas depending on viewing angle.  (The end-on
    view not shown on the above page will have the least cross section.)
    Also, the second picture from the bottom of
    is a nadir-eye view of one as it passed over Maui a decade or so ago.
    I  think it curious that reported brightness varies so little.  Perhaps the
    satellite has settled into some stable orientation due to gravity gradient,
    magnetic, aerodynamic, etc. torques?
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