Re: [FPSPACE] Correct designations of Mars Odyssey and Ekran M18 ?

From: Allen Thomson (
Date: Mon May 21 2001 - 12:48:06 PDT

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    Jonathan McDowell, with understandable reluctance, concluded and noted,
    > I am reluctantly concluding that I have to begin my own independent
    > designation system, since the traditional ones are no longer stable enough
    to use
    > for historical work (for instance, note the reuse of various catalog
    numbers for other
    > objects).
    It does appear that with respect to bookkeeping  functions, Space Command
    runs a fairly loose shop, and it became looser in the 1990s.  Note, for
    example, the weird behavior of the observation/set numbers in line 1
    starting several years ago.
    The fairly extensive collection of available "analyst elements" of
    uncorrelated targets in the 80,000 series is also not easy to comprehend.
    One wonders how and whether the folks in Colorado keep track of this stuff
    themselves -- from appearances it seems they not infrequently make various
    sorts of errors -- and whether they care much.  I'd guess, on an overall
    scale of things, catalog maintenance is not assigned a very high priority.
    (In their place, with their responsibilities, I'd probably do the same.)
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