Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Tracking USA 161

click image to enlarge

I am a bit behind with posting the image above taken a week ago, on 3 June 2014 . It shows the KH-11 Keyhole/CRYSTAL optical reconnaissance satellite USA 161 (2001-044A), which was recently recovered.

With new observations including mine, the orbit is now getting better defined. During the winter blackout, the orbit of the satellite appears to have been further circularized to a 389 x 391 km orbit, by a small perigee rise.

In the image above, another object is also visible: a Falcon 9 r/b, 2010-066K, at over 5000 km altitude at that time.

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