Space Sunday

DID A SPY SATELLITE JUST VISIT THE ISS? On May 1st at Cape Canaveral, SpaceX launched a classified satellite (USA 276) for the US National Reconnaissance Office. Watching the spysat go into orbit, analysts around the world quickly realized something odd. The orbit of USA 276 was similar to that of the International Space Station and could theoretically make close approaches to the orbiting outpost.

On June 3rd, that’s exactly what happened. “USA 276 made a close approach and effectively circled the ISS,” reports Marco Langbroek of Leiden, the Netherlands. He prepared this diagram showing the circumstances of the encounter:


Amateur satellite watchers have been tracking USA 276 since late May, and their observations have resulted in ever-improving estimates of the satellite’s orbit. “With the latest data included, we can establish the moment of closest approach as 3 June 2017, 14:01:52 UT. It happened in daylight over the southern Atlantic north of the Falklands, near 43o.75 S, 45o.45 W, with a miss distance of only 6.4 ± 2 km.”

In the diagram above, the brick-colored box has dimensions of 4 x 4 x 10 km. Whenever an object looks like it is going to pass through that box, ISS mission controllers evaluate the possibility of a collision avoidance maneuver. “USA 276 remained just outside the 4 x 4 x 10 km box at closest approach,” notes Langbroek. “As a result, collision avoidance maneuvers were not required.”

More @ Spaceweather

About Den

Always in search of interesting things to post. Armed with knowledge and dangerous with the ladies.
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8 Responses to Space Sunday

  1. David B. Benson says:

    Just 24 minutes to the Old Post Office in the cool sun. A bird, another, then a fearless rabbit and finally a pair of yellow breasted birds perched on a wire.


  2. Carol ٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:

    Here I am, missed another day. 😦 Having Quincy here for two days and a night chewed up a lot of my internet time.

    Yesterday was the most beautiful day of the year! Did NOT put the A/C on, it got on the hot side but it was really breezy AND the humidity was down to 28%.

    Turned it on early this afternoon, humidity got up to 48% and sometimes 51%, the “really breezy” left over from yesterday wasn’t helping enough. Jill picked Q up and we talked for awhile. Then Bob and I watched a movie. There went my day, it was nice to go for my evening walk. Perfect weather.

    I cooked washed the clothes (a day late, off my schedule)


  3. Carol ٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:

    Perfect weather 😦 I think we’re in a drought. I can walk anywhere, no bugs bother me, no mosquitoes. I haven’t seen any bats, no bugs for them to eat? Jill had to drive from Mid Michigan/Lansing area, to Kalamazoo, then to Lake Michigan. She told me on the way home today she noticed the landscape everywhere, grass burning out, things turning brown. NOOOO!!!!! Is it REALLY Michigan’s turn for a drought? Oh, well…whatever will be, will be.


  4. Carol ٩(-̮̮̃-̃)۶ says:

    You guys know I mow the place next door, carved trails through the 2 acres, keep it mowed and stylish around the house etc., right? I probably told you the place was in limbo after the women who bought it died in the house. I took up the project as the house sat for a couple years, or so.

    Two years ago a couple bought the place and two other run down houses as an investment. Met them, they said it was fine if I wanted to keep the mowing up.

    A couple weeks ago a young girl from a couple miles down M-52 found out who owned that house and bought it. She came to the fence and called to me when I was weeding nearby, said I could keep mowing it when I asked if that was ok.

    GET THIS! THIS is the punchline to this story: The seller came over to our house this afternoon, told me he sold the house to that young girl, just waiting for the well and septic tank inspections. And then he handed me a check! A CHECK! Money! He said it was to say thank you to me for taking care of their place like I did, and that they REALLY appreciated that. HOLY COW! I thanked him profusely, told him no way I did that for money, I just wanted it to look nice but he insisted I take it. The check was for $200.

    The man is a lawyer that works for the State of Michigan. He’s probably one of many that work in the Attorney General’s office. Bill Schutte is our AG, a flaming republicans who wants to run for governor. If HE owned that place next door, there would have never been a thank you and a gift.

    My guess is MY neighbor-lawyer today is a liberal. LOL!!! I told Bob the same thing, and he said no way I could know what he was. HA! You can tell by people’s behavior what they are.


  5. Den says:

    Holy flaming tailgaters Robin!! (RIP Adam West)


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