Author Topic: Mystery Rocket Burn  (Read 4300 times)

Online Paul Adams

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Mystery Rocket Burn
« on: 02/20/2007 10:05 PM »
Hurry and head over to http://www.spaceweather.com/

Can anyone identify the mystery rocket "burn" that was noted and photographed by several observers?

Paul
It's all in the data.

Offline stargazer777

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RE: Mystery Rocket Burn
« Reply #1 on: 02/20/2007 10:50 PM »
How certain are we that it is a rocket?  Could it be a meteorite breaking up in the atmosphere?

Offline hyper_snyper

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RE: Mystery Rocket Burn
« Reply #2 on: 02/20/2007 11:09 PM »
That sort of looks like a comet.

Or it could be Blackstar/Aurora.  ;)

Online Chris Bergin

RE: Mystery Rocket Burn
« Reply #3 on: 02/20/2007 11:11 PM »
Betcha Jim O will know  :cool:

Offline kanathan

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Re: Mystery Rocket Burn
« Reply #4 on: 02/20/2007 11:23 PM »
One person said that they were able to view it for 35 minutes, which I assume would rule out a meteorite. You could probably figure out which satellites were in the area during that time using one of satellite trackers out there on the web. Of course, Blackstar probably wouldn't be in those databases. ;)

Offline hmh33

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Re: Mystery Rocket Burn
« Reply #5 on: 02/20/2007 11:38 PM »
Can't think of many rockets that would burn for 35 minutes either..

Offline Jim

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Re: Mystery Rocket Burn
« Reply #6 on: 02/21/2007 12:07 AM »
Many spacecraft have long burns

Offline khallow

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Re: Mystery Rocket Burn
« Reply #7 on: 02/21/2007 12:47 AM »
It's been discussed on USENET [Jim O. was there] and someone claims to have ID'd it. According to here, it is an "exploding Breeze-M rocket body" which apparently is an upper stage used in Protons and the future Angara.
Karl Hallowell

Offline Rybanis

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Re: Mystery Rocket Burn
« Reply #8 on: 02/21/2007 02:16 AM »
35 minutes though? Woah.

Offline Speedracer

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Re: Mystery Rocket Burn
« Reply #9 on: 02/21/2007 05:21 AM »
Updated at spaceweather.com

Email I received on SeeSat:

The explosion photographed last night by Gordon Garradd and others in Australia (see http://spaceweather.com for several photos) has been tentatively identified by Jon P. Boers of the Air Force Space Surveillance System as object 28944, a Breeze-M rocket body blowing up. Later, he says, "on the other side of the world, our RADAR saw 500+ pieces in that orbit."
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Offline Jim

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Re: Mystery Rocket Burn
« Reply #10 on: 02/21/2007 11:11 AM »
worse than the Chinese ASAT test

Offline meiza

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Re: Mystery Rocket Burn
« Reply #11 on: 02/21/2007 11:46 AM »
Yes, a test of hypocricy for the medias now, if they note this... if they don't, then their lamenting of the chinese test generating debris is exposed.
(I think both are bad.)

Offline Zachstar

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RE: Mystery Rocket Burn
« Reply #12 on: 02/21/2007 12:01 PM »
Wait I thought all modern launchers deorbit their upper stages or atleast drain them of all explosive propellant?

Offline Jim

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Re: Mystery Rocket Burn
« Reply #13 on: 02/21/2007 12:06 PM »
they are suppose to

Online kevin-rf

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Re: Mystery Rocket Burn
« Reply #14 on: 02/21/2007 12:59 PM »
There was an NRO Atlas launch a few years back from KSC that at the end of the launch vented the Centuar stage over the East Coast. The plume was visible for more than a half hour. Quite impressive to watch... Was the Breeze-M not vented because of the launch failure, or is it not normal to vent the Breeze-M at the end of the mission?
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Offline Danderman

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Re: Mystery Rocket Burn
« Reply #15 on: 02/21/2007 02:29 PM »
The Briz-M in question launched the Arabsat payload into a lower than nominal orbit, due to early shutdown of the Briz stage. Thus the Briz retained over half its propellant load, and when a seal failed, the hypergolic propellant exploded. The 35 minute visibility window was caused by the Briz being at apogee some 14000 km up, and so it was moving relatively slowly in relation to the Earth at the time.

The perigee is about 500 km, so its likely that these pieces will re-enter relatively quickly, unlike the Chinese ASAT debris at 800 km.

Online kevin-rf

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Re: Mystery Rocket Burn
« Reply #16 on: 02/21/2007 07:56 PM »
http://www.spaceweather.com/swpod2007/21feb07/mcnaught1.gif

It's worth noting that the halo around the debris is the propellant cloud. You can clearly see the fragments moving with the cloud across the background. It was most likely the difuse cloud that made everyone situp and take notice. Wow they are now up over 1000 trackable segments.

Since the event happened closer to apogee and energy was added to the system during the rapid breakup event not all of the fragements will still have a 500 km perigee, some will be lower and reenter faster and some will be higher and take longer to reenter. That said I think much more energy was added to the debris of the Chinese ASAT test leading to a wider variance in the fragment orbits. Some of those where knocked into higher orbits that now have a low point of 800km.
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