2016 Jul 31
Sunday, Day 213
Providing Space Information Since 1999
Zarya.info is a hobbyist website managed from the South Tyneside area of the UK. Here you will find things that interest me..... current space events, the Soviet/Russian space programme, satellite tracking. You will also find frequency lists. They are spin-offs from my satellite tracking activities with which they go hand-in-hand.
What's In Orbit?
See Zarya's launch lists for satellite descriptions, launch records, detailed orbits and histories of orbital manoeuvres. Entries appear within a few days of launches happening and orbit details are updated with similar timeliness. Information is derived from data provided by SpaceTrack and from independent tracking undertaken by amateur satellite observers.
There are also detailed lists of satellites in specialised orbits. In Geosynchronous orbit satellites are mainly communications satellites and Earth observation vehicles watching a whole hemisphere at a time. Sun-synchronous orbits follow a track across the Earth's surface at the same time each day. They are principally imaging satellites taking advantage of the constant lighting conditions from day to day.
What's Coming Down?
Natural decay of an orbit brings it closer to the upper atmosphere and air drag. Eventually, the drag will prove too much and it will enter the atmosphere. Re-entries can produce spectacular fireballs. Larger objects coming back into the Earth's atmosphere do not always burn up completely so there is a possibility of fragment hitting the ground.
Sometimes re-entries are brought about deliberately by retro-fire slowing the vehicle down. Occasionally the objective is to ensure that any surviving fragments land in remote areas of the Ocean but sometimes the objective is to make a landing.
Tables show recent re-entries as well as predictions of forthcoming events. Information comes from SpaceTrack and is updated as new data comes in.
2016 - A Notable Anniversary
In the 1960s, a small group of teachers and schoolboys were using basic radio equipment to eavesdrop on Soviet/Russian satellites. They came to prominence in 1966 when they deduced that the Soviet Union had made its first space launch from a new cosmodrome. 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the event that catapulted the group into the international limelight.
Copyright © Robert Christy, all rights reserved
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