The Russian KOSMOS 2576 launch of May 16, and USA 314: another 'inspector satellite'?
SatTrackCam blog
by
1w ago
click to enlarge    (this blogpost reflects discussions with and information provided by Bart Hendrickx, Bob Christy and Jonathan McDowell) In a previous blogpost I wrote about a Russian launch into SSO from Plesetsk on May 16. According to Roscosmos, the launch was at 21:21:29 UTC. Based on the Sun-Synchronous orbit indicated by the launch azimuth I initially suspected this to be a new IMINT mission, but now I am not so sure.  IMINT is part of it, but not all, and the primary payload, KOSMOS 2576, might actually be another inspector satellite, this time targetting the ..read more
Visit website
Upcoming test of a Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) hypersonic missile
SatTrackCam blog
by
1w ago
click map to enlarge A Navigational Warning has appeared that points to a US missile test conducted west of Hawaii in the period May 23 - 25, 2024, 21:30-0300 UTC.  The shape of the hazard zones is similar to that of the (failed) June 2022 JFC-1 Conventional Prompt Strike (CPS) test, which is part of a US Navy program for a submarine-launched MRBM with a hypersonic glider as reentry vehicle. The program has ties with the US Army LHRW hypersonic missile program discussed on this blog a few times. The range indicated by this test is about 3500 km. The Navigational Warning (also is ..read more
Visit website
A Russian Optical Reconnaissance satellite launch from Plesetsk upcoming
SatTrackCam blog
by
1w ago
click map to enlarge Navigational Warnings have appeared that point to a Russian launch from Plesetsk between May 16-26. The direction of launch as indicated by the hazard zones from the Navigational Warnings (see maps above and below), points to launch into a ~97.75 degree inclined Sun-synchronous orbit. This, in turn, points to an IMINT mission, i.e. an optical reconnaissance satellite. There are two options: another BARS M satellite (BARS M6), or something new. There are indications of the latter. Compared to previous BARS M launches, in addition to hazard zones near the Kola peni ..read more
Visit website
A glimpse of the ACS 3 Solar Sail bus
SatTrackCam blog
by
1w ago
Artist impression of ACS3 once the sail is deployed (image: NASA) On 23 March 2024, Rocket Lab launched the Advanced Composite Solar Sail System (ACS3), a NASA solar sail experiment. The main goal of the mission is to test the deployment of a 80 m2 (9 x 9 meter) solar sail from a 12U cubesat bus. The sail will be deployed late May or early June 2024, i.e. some 2 months after the launch. ACS3 (2024-077B) is in a 97.4 deg inclined, 993 x 1023 km sun-synchronous orbit.   The 9 x 9 meter ACS3 sail (image: NASA) ACS3 orbit On 3 May 2024, I managed to image the 12U ..read more
Visit website
OT: The beautiful Aurora of May 10, 2024
SatTrackCam blog
by
2w ago
click to enlarge  (more imagery below the text) On May 10, 2024, the strongest Solar storm in 20 years hit Earth. As a result, Aurora borealis (Northen Lights) was visible at much lower latitides than normally, including the Netherlands, where it put on a splendid, bright, colorful display between midnight and 1 am of the night of May 10-11. Looking at the geomagnetic data just before nightfall on the 10th, I knew we had good chances of an impressive display. It had been a sunny day, the sky was clear, albeit with some cirrus.  I bicycled 30 minutes to get to the Vlietlande ..read more
Visit website
Imaging North Korea's new satellite Malligyong-1
SatTrackCam blog
by
3w ago
stack of 100 frames   Last week I finally got my first views of Malligyong-1 (2023-179A), the new reconnaissance satellite which North Korea launched on 21 November 2023 (see this earlier blogpost on the launch, and these and these  Space Review articles  regarding the satellites manoeuvering). As it makes passes in the late evening, it so far had remained hidden in the Earth Shadow, but now summer is approaching it is rappidly becoming visible. My first detection was on 22 April, when it stayed faint due to unfavourable phase angles, and my second detection was yester ..read more
Visit website
Dark moves at Geosynchronous altitude: Mentor 6 and Luch (Olymp) 2 have repositioned
SatTrackCam blog
by
1M ago
Mentor 6 on April 16, 2024. Click image to enlarge A number of SIGINT satellites in geosynchronous orbit have been moving lately. A small roundup: There is the brand new SIGINT satellite Mentor 10 (USA 353, 2024-067A) that is slowly drifting westwards to its operational position by ~1.35 degrees per day, since its launch and initial insertion at longitude 100 E on April 9. This was discussed in this previous blogpost.  But an earlier Mentor (also known as ADVANCED ORION), Mentor 6 (2012-034A), has also been moving recently, from longitude 55.6 E to 51.1 E. This move happened som ..read more
Visit website
Mentor 10 (USA 353), the NROL-70 payload, likely found near 98 E
SatTrackCam blog
by
1M ago
click image to enlarge. Image (c) by @mickeywzx, used with permission It appears that Mentor 10 (USA 353), the payload of NROL-70, which launched on 9 April 2024 at 16:53 UTC, has been found on orbit by Twitter user @mickeyWZX, who is located at Baihuashan Observatory (MPC code P13) in the suburbs of Beijing.  It is a bright object, reportedly about mag. +7.6, which conforms to the expectation of an ADVANCED ORION, a SIGINT satellite class known as 'Mentor' among independent trackers. These objects are the largest and brightest geosynchronous satellites in the sky with a typical ..read more
Visit website
Manoeuver moments of the North Korean reconnaissance satellite Malligyong-1
SatTrackCam blog
by
1M ago
click image to enlarge Earlier this year, I blogged about the detection of a series of small orbit raising manoeuvers performed by the new North Korean military optical reconnaissance satellite Malligyong-1 (2023-179A). I also wrote a small piece on it for The Space Review published on 4 March 2024. I have now completed a follow-up analysis, which appeard in The Space Review last week (8 April 2024). You can read it here. In that follow-up analysis, I reconstructed the times and locations of each of the five small manoeuvers. And found that they match evening passes over North Korea ..read more
Visit website
Russian ICBM test launch (Topol?) from Kapustin Yar seen from the Middle East
SatTrackCam blog
by
1M ago
click to enlarge On 12 April 2024 near 16:00 UTC, the Russian Armed Forces test-fired an unarmed ICBM from Kapustin Yar, targetting the test range at Sary Shagan at a distance of some 2000 km. The missile was likely a TOPOL-M. In the image above, I have modelled the likely trajectory, assuming apogee at 1000 km altitude as in previous tests. Below is Russian MoD footage of the launch:   The missile launch was widely seen as a bright comet-like object in the sky, in Russia as well as in the Middle East, with reports from as far south as a.o. Iran and Iraq. As many there where i ..read more
Visit website

Follow SatTrackCam blog on FeedSpot

Continue with Google
Continue with Apple
OR