RE: Possible reentry captured over Chile ?

From: Henry Hallam (
Date: Sun May 12 2013 - 19:17:32 UTC

  • Next message: Brad Young: "BY O 051313"

    On May 11, 2013 1:01 AM, "Ted Molczan" <> wrote:
    > Randy John wrote:
    > > That appears to be too much debris for a satellite only 10 cm on a side.
    > > Could this have been the upper stage?
    > An excellent observation. I had not paid much attention to this launch, so
    > was unfamiliar with the payloads. I had noted
    > that the object that decayed (13016D / 39145) had a large RCS value, so
    > was confident that it could account for the
    > impressive re-entry light show, but was unaware that its assigned name was
    > that of a microsat payload. Upon further
    > review, it is clear that (13016D / 39145) is the Cygnus Mass Simulator,
    > not the microsat named Bell.
    > USSTRATCOM's RCS value for 13016D is similar to the mean cross-sectional
    > area I estimated, and it was the largest object
    > of the catalogued pieces. That leads me to conclude that 13016D is Cygnus.
    > Since Cygnus was the primary payload, it
    > correctly received the "A" designation, but the wrong orbit was assigned
    > to that designation. It will be interesting to
    > see whether and how USSTRATCOM attempts to correct the record. Regardless,
    > we can be confident that the object that
    > decayed on May 10 UTC was Cygnus.
    I can confirm that at least two of the objects from this launch were
    misidentified by Space-Track.  39144 was in reality Cosmogia's Dove-1 3U
    cubesat, misidentified as the 1u PhoneSat "Alexander".  39143, listed on
    Space-Track as Dove-1, was actually one of the PhoneSats - Bell, I think.
     It is indeed obvious from Space-Track's RCS data that 39145 and 39147 were
    the two large objects from this launch, though it wasn't so obvious during
    the first few days!  So it looks like the designators for several objects
    from the Antares launch were mixed up by JSpOC.  I did contact JSpOC a
    couple of weeks ago to inform them of the misidentification of Dove-1, but
    it doesn't seem to have been corrected yet.  I will keep an eye on the
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