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           This is me rising to the bait. 

I can reveal for the first time the following information:

This also the Orbital State Vector of the "Vegemite Satellite" - VEGESAT 2.
VEGESAT series is a little-known Australian innovation that was partly
instrumental for the breakdown of the Soviet Union and the recent resurgence
in the Australian space industry. (See here under Space Organisations - Asia
Pacific <http://www.apac.com.au/> )

Here are the recently-revealed KEPS:

1 20410U 90002B   00097.59614880 -.00000163  00000-0  00000-0 0  6285
2 20410   3.8756  19.7052 0001230 320.7977 224.9922  1.00271862 22767

Vegemite < http://www.vegemite.com.au/ <http://www.vegemite.com.au/>  > is
an Australian food product made by Kraft Foods. [Note:
http://www.vegimite.com/ will take you to a page under construction.]
Vegemite is a yeast by-product full of Vitamin B. Vegemite is VERY
nutritious, but is an "acquired taste"! Some Aussies never acquire it. Hint:
If tempted, buy a SMALL bottle and spread it THINLY on bread or toasted
bread. It tastes like nothing else (except compressed yeast), "smells like
vomit" (according to my 14 year old who still eats it like it's his last
meal), and is coloured BLACK.

+++ The VEGESATs +++

VEGESAT 2 was successfully launched from the town of Weipa on Cape York
<http://www.rlq.dcilgp.qld.gov.au/weipa2.html> , the finger of land on
Australia's north-east. This was an experimental launch to prove that
Australia could be a tropical launch site.

A Zenit 2 launch vehicle was brought in through the extensive wharf
facilities <http://www.comalco.com.au/05_operations/02_weipa.htm>  at Weipa.
(Subsequently, the possibility was raised of flying the launcher in to Air
Force base "Scherger <http://www.defence.gov.au/hqac/bases.htm> "  only some
50km from Weipa.) Recent rumour has it that the satellite was mated to the
launcher using a unique bonding process developed at James Cook University
<http://www.jcu.edu.au/>  involving "powder metallurgy
<http://www.eng.jcu.edu.au/cee/research_interests/471resint.html> ", using
particles sintered from a yeast extract. The resulting black substance was
'cooked' onsite using an electrostatic process. 

A recently decommissioned open-cut bauxite mine pit
<http://www.comalco.com.au/05_operations/02_weipa.htm>  was used as the
launch site; the Zenit was stood up by its mobile launcher in the lee of the
boom of a giant drag-line dredger. 

The Zenit placed VEGESAT 2 into a GTO (Geosynchronous Transfer Orbit) after
launch at 1357Z on 1 April 1992. Several orbital moves have placed the
satellite into its present geosynchronous orbital off the east coast of

Although the specifics are shrouded in mystery, VEGESAT 2 is believed to
have been built by some clever lecturers and students at the University of
Newcastle <http://www.newcastle.edu.au/>  which has resulted in the
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
<http://www.ee.newcastle.edu.au/postgrad_index.html>  still researching
areas such as Control & Systems Theory, Signal Processing, Smart Structures,
and Telecommunications.

It has been rumoured that VEGISAT 2 is under the control of Australia's
CSIRO <http://www.csiro.au/>  (Commonwealth Scientific & Industrial Research
Organisation) Office of Space Science & Applications Earth Observation
Centre  <http://www.eoc.csiro.au/> or perhaps the Australian Centre for
Remote Sensing <http://www.auslig.gov.au/acres/index.htm>  (ACRES).

VEGISAT 1 was lost during a launch accident at 0246Z on 1 APR 1987, from
Woomera Rocket Range (31.1°S / 136.8°E) in the state of South Australia.
VEGISAT 1 was the primary payload on a left-over Black Arrow launch vehicle
<http://www.powerup.com.au/~woomera/bkarrow.htm>  and was to place the
VEGISAT 1 satellite into orbit about 10 minutes after liftoff. The initial
orbit would have had a perigee of 537 kilometres and an apogee of 1,593
kilometres, inclined at 82 degrees to the equator. Unfortunately, the
blackness of space proved too much.

Background Note:
Woomera <http://banzai.apana.org.au/geographical/woomera/index.html> , South
Australia, is a desert town poplulated by about 1,700 people and was
established in 1947 as a rocket range <http://www.powerup.com.au/~woomera/>
by a joint project between Britain and Australia; now, a wide area nearby is
operated as the Woomera Prohibited Area. Recently, Kistler Aerospace
Corporation <http://www.kistleraerospace.com/>  has started building a
commercial satellite launching facility.

/ © / 12APR00 (Time Zone -1851hrs) /

Have you detected the jokes? In the Australian vernacular, this is a "Furphy
<http://www.furphys.com.au/> " (and here's the story behind the term
<http://www.furphys.com.au/wcinfo.html> ) i.e. a 'yarn' or a 'tall tale'. 

The 'story' is ALL made up... BUT...
The links are ALL REAL! 
EVEN THE SATELLITE EXISTS, but is really LEASAT 5 and is being leased from
Hughes and used for communications by an Australian government organisation.

SpaceLift <http://www.spacelift.com.au/>  < http://www.spacelift.com.au/ >
is worth a look. It proposes to use the Russian "SS-25" (Zenit ?) based
launchers. Another launch opportunity! They plan to use Woomera, flying in
the launchers to the long airstrip that is there. It is my invention that
they COULD land the transport aircraft at the Air Force base "Scherger
<http://www.defence.gov.au/hqac/bases.htm> " only some 50km from Weipa, and
launch from a tropical site. 

ULSI <http://www.ulsi.com.au/>  http://www.ulsi.com.au/
<http://www.ulsi.com.au/ >  is worth a look. It proposes to use a site near
Gladstone, on the east coast of Australia south of the Tropic of Capricorn,
to launch over the Pacific Ocean using a Russian launcher. The ULV22 is
capable of placing 5,000 kgs of payload into a 200-kilometre orbit. Another
launch opportunity! 

Peter R. Ellis
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