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Rogue satellite on the loose (Read 2387 times)
Steve
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Rogue satellite on the loose
Dec 4th, 2008, 10:16pm
 
Things are set to get a bit hairy over the next few weeks as a US military satellite DSP-23  ( USA 197 ) drifts through one of the most crowded slots in geo orbit.
 
The bird has been the subject of discussion amongst amateur observers for a few weeks , but it is now starting to make main stream news.
 
It was launched last November , but failed and is now meandering towards 13 east and the Hotbirds...eventually it will become entangled with the 19 east Astras and there's not a lot anyone can do as the DoD will not release precise details of where it is! ( However there are ways and means....thats how we know its around 12.25 east at present )
 
So if one of the Hotbirds suddenly drops out in the next week...you'll know the reason why !
 
Joking apart , DSP-23 still has rather a lot of fuel aboard , in fact nearly  
a full tank !
 
Whilst it is highly unlikely a collision will take place , if it does it could be catastrophic for European satellite owners.
 
The resulting devastation would leave a huge part of the arc unuseable !
 
DSP-23  is about 3 degrees inclined but is passing through the equatorial plane midday and midnight .
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