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AO-40 Post Burn Orbit Information

I received a phone call from NORAD/Space Command yesterday regarding the
AO-40's post-burn orbit.  Since AO-40 did not achieve the planned  orbit
from thruster firing #1, I had provided them with estimated set #8 prior to
their phone call.  During the conversation, I also reiterated the issue of
cross-tagging between AO-40 (#26609) and the STRV satellite (#26610).  Space
Command is currently searching for AO-40 using our elements.  They
originally intended to create a temporary object with the set #8 Keps for
sensor tracking purposes.  They later decided to enter set #8 into their
system and task their  sensors accordingly.  Thus, set #8 appears as set #12
(see below) in NORAD's catalog.

1 26609U 00072B   00346.67280000 -.00000197  00000-0  00000+0 0   132
2 26609   6.4207 239.2459 8088586 192.0906   0.4805  1.25602300   510

I am quite pleased at the extraordinary level of attention and support that
NORAD/Space Command is providing for AO-40.  In fact, they appreciate the
information and support that *we* provide them since it makes their
satellite catalog maintenance job (i.e., computing orbits for 8500+ man-made
objects) a bit easier.  AMSAT has established lines of communication with
Space Command in recent years, due in part to the credibility we established
in exchanging orbital data pertinent to the amateur spacecraft.  But AMSAT
members should bear in mind that AO-40 (and other amateur spacecraft) are a
*very low* priority to them since the OSCARs pose no military threat to the
security of the North American continent.

On a related topic, I totally sympathize with AMSAT members wanting the
latest information on AO-40.  (I would be rather disappointed if the
interest level were low.)  For my part, however, I try to find a balance
between providing estimates of AO-40 Keplerian data to the members while not
over-doing it to the point of confusion.  This requires judgement in which I
will, no doubt, err on one side or the other.  For that I appreciate the
patience that everbody has had thus far.

Ken Ernandes, N2WWD

Via the amsat-bb mailing list at AMSAT.ORG courtesy of AMSAT-NA.
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