RE: Ofeq 11 search elements

From: Ted Molczan via Seesat-l <>
Date: Fri, 16 Sep 2016 09:05:57 -0400
Based on discussions at Novosti Kosmonavtiki and NASASpaceFlight, there is reason to believe that the launch time may
have been 8 to 10 minutes later than the 14:30 UTC reported by some of the news media, which was the basis for my search

The following article quotes a spokesman of the Office of the Defense Ministry, who reported the local time of the

Google translation:

"The director of the Ministry of Defense Space Mapai and IAI launched tonight at 17:40 the observation satellite 'Ofek
11' space. The test was conducted using satellite launcher type 'comet', from the experiments at the center of the
country. The satellite went into orbit around the Earth, created contacted him and systems are under review. Space
Manager Mapai engineers, engineers with IAI, continuing a series of tests planned in advance."

The following article reports the local time of the launch as 17:38:

Relying on the above sources shifts the launch time to 2016 Sep 13 between 14:38 and 14:40 UTC.

I will rely on 14:40 UTC, because it is traceable to be an authoritative source, but I would not be surprised to learn
that this was merely a rounding of the time, and that 14:38 UTC is correct.

Based on launch at 14:40 UTC, my search TLEs become:

Ofeq 11 rocket body                                      262 X 613 km
1 71990U 71990A   16257.64730326  .00428326  00000-0  24500-2 0    05
2 71990 140.9182 294.3211 0257161  64.1433 180.3602 15.43858105    08

At first apogee, the payload should have raised its perigee, resulting in the following approximate orbit.

Ofeq 11                                                  334 X 613 km
1 71991U 71991A   16257.64730327  .00151349  00000-0  24500-2 0    06
2 71991 140.9182 294.3211 0203600  64.1433 180.3602 15.31782000    05

The payload reportedly reached orbit, but was not operating properly. This raises doubt that it performed the
perigee-raising manoeuvre. Prospective observers should consider searching both of the above orbits. It would be prudent
to allow for at least 5 minutes prediction time uncertainty.

Ofeq 11 has been assigned the international designation 2016-056A, and the USSTRATCOM catalogue number 41759. The rocket
body is the B object, with catalogue number 41760.

Ted Molczan

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Received on Fri Sep 16 2016 - 08:06:28 UTC

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