NROL-65 search elements

From: Ted Molczan (
Date: Tue Aug 27 2013 - 15:25:19 UTC

  • Next message: C. Bassa: "CB Obs August 27, 2013"

    NROL-65 is scheduled for launch on a Delta 4 Heavy, from VAFB, on Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 17:52 UTC.
    It will launch a KeyHole imagery intelligence satellite of KH-11 lineage, which will replace a similar satellite in the
    standard western KH plane: USA 186 (05042A / 28888), launched from VAFB on a Titan 4B, in October 2005.
    The following search elements are based on launch at 17:52 UTC:
    NROL-65                                                  261 X 986 km
    1 79500U          13240.75208333  .00019000  00000-0  18973-3 0    06
    2 79500  97.9398 301.8126 0518000 211.8761 320.0000 14.81000000    08
    They are based on my guess that the RAAN will be about 1 deg west of USA 186, and the argument of perigee the same as
    USA 186. The mean motion is about the same as that of USA 224 (aka NROL-49) at launch. The argument of perigee and mean
    motion are the most likely to prove to be significantly in error.
    Prediction time error during the first few hours is likely to be several minutes. Track error could be quite large,
    especially at high elevation, mainly due to the uncertainty in argument of perigee.
    Northern hemisphere observers will have evening visibility.
    The second stage rocket body will be de-orbited on the first rev; the centre of the debris footprint is near the
    equator, near 154 W.
    Ted Molczan
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