Re-entries Today

From: Bob Christy via Seesat-l <seesat-l_at_satobs.org>
Date: Wed, 20 May 2020 18:46:16 +0100
Navigation warning issued May 15 (HYDROPAC 1444) covered an area of the southern Pacific on May 20 with times between 19:11 and 20:26 UTC. It matches the ground track and timing of Cygnus NG-13.

The warning has been cancelled and substituted with one running 17:00 - 23:59 UTC covering the same area (HYDROPAC 1552).

A successful launch of HTV-9 on May 20 at 17:31 UTC will send it over the same area on rev 1 and at the same time as Cygnus, leading to a thought that the Warning is for its H-IIB rocket upper stage rather than Cygnus.

However a NOTAM from Chile for HTV-9 shows an area that matches the H-IIB rev 0 ground track rather than rev  1. Unfortunately, the times in the Chile NOTAM match rev 1.

The extended times in HYDROPAC 1552 make sense if they have been changed to cover both the H-IIB re-entry and de-orbit of Cygnus. The area notified is large enough to cover both events.

Experience suggests that we won't hear anything immediate from Northrop Grumman about a de-orbit. The first clue, if Cygnus has been de-orbited, will probably be it's absence from view to European observers when Cygnus, HTV and ISS are visible later today.

Bob Christy

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Received on Wed May 20 2020 - 12:47:18 UTC

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