Re: Has #10704 (78026C) two identities ?

From: Harro Zimmer (
Date: Tue Oct 16 2001 - 15:32:00 EDT

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    There was some confusion produced by SPACECOM.
    The object 1978-026C( #10704) named also today Delta 1 R/B 
    was the real rocket body only until January 28, 1981. On this day the
    object exploded and delivered 209 pieces. A lot of them are decayed over
    the years. Now #10704 is a very small piece of debris
    with a RCS of only 0.02 m. This object is in orbit. The last 
    released ELSET has the epoch 01289.318... and a MM of 13.869... .
    It is far away from decay.
    As Bjoern Gimle has mentioned that 1978-026AS looks like another player
    within this confusion. My analysis shows that some days ago SPACECOM had
    erroneously mixed the #10704 ELSETs  with the data for 1978-026AS
    (#12201), a larger piece with a RSC of 7.88 m. 
    The last released ELSET shows an epoch of 01288.204... and a MM of
    My raw estimate based on the last five ELSETs 01285.513... -
    01288.204... with a big gap between the last two delivers the decay on
       15 October, 14:39 UTC +/- 88 minutes (34.6S, 20.7E)
    on a descending pass over South Africa.
    Berlin, Germany 
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