Re: Very odd "Space Debris" NavWarning

From: Bob Christy via Seesat-l <seesat-l_at_satobs.org>
Date: Sat, 7 Aug 2021 09:01:04 +0000


The NASA date/time of July 30 indicates that it issued the warning when the new launch date of August 3 was set. On July 29, NASA/Boeing had cancelled the July 30 launch slot as a result of the Nauka thruster incident.

Clues lies in a navigation warning issued for landing of the previous Starliner flight in 2019 (2019-094) where a much simpler version of this scenario was set out. It covers destructive re-entry of the Starliner Service Module after setting the Crew Module on course for landing.

It included a mid-Pacific zone and a zone near northern apex of the ISS orbit but it also included two time periods, one relating to each. They cover three possible daily tracks into the landing area. One from the south west and two from the north west.

The recent warning does the same job for two dates but is much more detailed (or even too detailed) and its times relate only to the landing approach from the south west. Separate times, about 9-11 hrs later, should have been included for the four northern apex zones - identified as B, D, F and H.

As far as I can tell, there was no equivalent warning issued in connection with the planned launch on July 30, but the one for the 2019 flight was issued only 12 hrs before landing. Maybe this particular 2021 version was sent out too early.

This has all the hallmarks of a 'cock-up'.

Here is the 2019 warning:

NAVAREA XII 656/2019 (17,83)

(Cancelled by NAVAREA XII 657/2019)

EASTERN NORTH PACIFIC.
1. HAZARDOUS OPERATIONS, SPACE DEBRIS:
   A. 221223Z TO 221312Z DEC IN AREA BOUND BY
      08-10.42N 126-49.22W, 14-39.10N 122-02.28W,
      16-43.41N 124-59.39W, 10-12.18N 129-44.25W.
   B. ALTERNATE 222012Z TO 222258Z DEC
      IN AREA BOUND BY
      49-18.12N 145-12.23W, 47-02.48N 133-53.14W,
      48-44.00N 132-43.20W, 51-35.22N 144-23.29W.
2. CANCEL THIS MSG 222358Z DEC 19.

220821Z DEC 2019 NASA 220222Z DEC 19.
Robert Christy

> On 6 Aug 2021, at 23:51, Marco Langbroek via Seesat-l <seesat-l_at_satobs.org> wrote:
> 
> The plot thickens. The e-mailed versions sent to subscribers do not mention this
> kind of information: but someone pointed out that the downloadable KML version
> on the NGA website mentions, as extra info:
> 
> "Authority: NASA 300917Z JUL 21."
> 
> So NASA appears to be the source of this Warning.
> 
> The date mentioned (30 Jul) is much earlier than the issueing date mentioned in
> the version e-mailed to subscribers earlier this morning, on August 6. It
> corresponds to the original launch date of Starliner (that was subsequently
> scrubbed).
> 
> So perhaps these are a kind of emergency landing/ditching zones for Starliner?
> 
> But I have difficulty seeing how a Starliner launch on (originally) July 30
> would necessitate these zones for August 9-10 (days after the original docking
> date). And if they are updated for a new launch date, why they weren't published
> before the original July 30 launch date.
> 
> Questions, questions....
> 
> - Marco
> 
> PS: HT to Nico Jansen who in private correspondence already suggested a possible
> connection to Starliner earlier this evening. I was dismissive then, but maybe I
> was wrong.
> 
> -----
> Dr Marco Langbroek  -  SatTrackCam Leiden, the Netherlands.
> e-mail: sattrackcam_at_langbroek.org
> 
> launchtower:    http://launchtower.langbroek.org
> Station (b)log: http://sattrackcam.blogspot.com
> Twitter:        _at_Marco_Langbroek
> -----
> 
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Received on Sat Aug 07 2021 - 04:02:16 UTC

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