[amsat-bb] Mystery Spacecraft Identified.
nss at mwt.net
Thu Jun 13 06:38:02 PDT 2013
This was a very interesting journey.
To Summarize, A buddy of mine is a very active Amateur Astronomer. His
telescopes and other equipment would equal to one of the best Amateur
Radio stations in the country.
Anyway while he was observing Saturn the other evening, he saw a object
pass nearby very slowly. Far too slowly compared to most Satellites we
have ever seen, and Far too fast to be an asteroid too. So it was an
interesting Mystery. He made a posting on a local club message system
about it, and that's when I came here to this list looking for help to
Someone, (Sorry do not remember who) suggested I go to the
seesat-l at satobs.org E-Mail list and ask. Very interesting group.
Of course there was at first no answer to it, but no fault to them, but
a fault of the original date of the observation, a typo had it on Jun 1
instead of when it really happened Jun11.
After the correct date was posted it was no time when an identification
was made. It was TERRESTAR-1. It's a Geosynchronous communications
Thats what somewhat fooled us, an Illusion. His scope of course has
drives to make it follow the objects in the sky. So In his scope Saturn
And thats where we also got messed up, the Geo bird is more or less
Stationary in the sky. It has a pretty good amount of vertical drift
tho. it's orbital period makes it Geo Stationary. but it has a pretty
high inclination so it drifts up and down in declination some. But
thats even slower motion.
What we saw as the object moving slowly, was not that but Saturn moving
past the Bird! DUH?
Anyway Now for the other reason for this E Mail today... In this
Mystery chase I learned a lot. And that seesat group helped out a lot
and sent me to a cool program that displays the birds, all of them.
Now this totally amazed me. And it makes me wonder even more, why we can
not get a ride to space.
Everyone is familiar seeing a image that shows an average daily air
traffic congestion say above the USA like this.
But what amazed me is when using that Satellite viewing program is how
many Birds are actually up there! look at this hemisphere shot!
Then a more detailed view looking south right now13:30 zulu,
Now what I can't understand is why, out of literally THOUSANDS of
launches why we can't get a ride.
I can understand in like the 60's when launches were not very often. But
even then we were getting rides every couple years.
Now with litterally Thousands of birds getting launched by the looks of
stuff in this program, why in what decades? we havent been able to get a
ride to a HEO type of orit? or even a LEO transponder type of bird.
The Original Rolling Ball Clock
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