Object 90019

From: Mike McCants (mmccants@io.com)
Date: Mon Oct 20 2003 - 17:38:57 EDT

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    Revised elset:
    Unknown 031017
    1 90019U 03790B   03293.04015160  .00239501  00000-0  10227-2 0    09
    2 90019  27.3446 255.2952 1856435 283.2471  76.5244 11.96806925    01
    The tumble period last night was observed to be about 34 seconds
    when the object was low in the west.  The magnitude variation
    was 2 or 2.5 magnitudes.  I estimated magnitude 6 maxima at altitude
    27, azimuth 260, range 2500 miles, phase angle near 90 degrees.
    Ed pointed out that the other kind of large object in 28 degree
    GTO orbit is an IUS.  We watched the Galileo IUS for a while last
    night.  I noted that it tumbled slowly from about 4.5 to 5.5
    at a range of 1600 miles.  Object 90019 seemed comparable on
    its second pass near the zenith at a range of 1900 miles.
    If the drag term for this elset has had about this value since
    launch and this object originally had a mean motion of about 2,
    then it should be 5 or 6 years old.
    So I believe this object is too bright to be a Delta 2, but it could
    be a Centaur or an IUS.  "Missing" IUS objects: 99-17C, 00-24C.
    Centaur objects: 98-29B, 00-80B and other older and newer objects.
    But Centaurs usually boost payloads into near-geosynchronous orbits,
    so perhaps an IUS R/B(1) is more likely.
    Here are Delta 4s with an IABS: 03-08A, 03-40B.
    Here is USA 158 R/B(1): 01-33C.  There may be other objects in the
    SSR that do not have a rocket type specified.
    Mike McCants
    Austin, TX
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