Re: Chinese launch of dummy Iridia

Alan Pickup (
Thu, 4 Sep 1997 21:07:48 +0100

In message <Chameleon.873390642.jhunt@?>, Jeff Hunt
<> writes
>I find it interesting that SPACEWARN in their standard notice has labled the 
>48A and 48B objects as the dummy Iridia (standard useage of payloads as 
>early letter designations) whereas the orbital parameters (as mentioned in 
>an earlier post) indicate that the 48B and 48F objects should be the 
>>                     COSPAR/WWAS     USSPACECOM NUMBER  
>>IRIDIUM-SIM-1         1997-048A           24925        01 SEPTEMBER 1997
>>IRIDIUM-SIM-2         1997-048B           24926        01 SEPTEMBER 1997

USSPACECOM have shuffled the identities of several of these objects,
indeed the designation 97- 48F has been attached to three different
objects (so far)!

My analysis suggests the following:

#24925 = 97- 48A

Elsets up to and including epoch 97246.56609389, plus the elset for
97246.88951130, are for what I take to be the Long March 2 (or CZ-2C)
rocket. Other (and current) elsets for a dummy Iridium object, in line
with the SPACEWARN announcement.

#24926 = 97- 48B

All elsets are for a dummy Iridium.

#24927 = 97- 48C

Elsets to 97246.88510223 are for a "debris" object (which became #24930,
below). Subsequent (and current) elsets are for the rocket.

#24928 = 97- 48D

A rapidly decaying "debris" object with decay due about September 7. No
change of identity.

#24929 = 97- 48E

Another rapidly decaying "debris" object with decay around September 7.
Constant identity.

#24930 = 97- 48F

Elsets to 97246.92314486 are for the dummy Iridium which became the "A"
object, #24925. Most subsequent elsest are for the "debris" object which
was formerly "C" (#24927). However, one with epoch 97246.9541921 is for
the rocket and the latest one for epoch 97247.53142725 is again for the
original dummy iridium, "A". 
Recent elsets are updated in my select.tle file, available via my SatEvo
WWW page below.

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