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Orbital Debris Quarterly NewsThe Indian spacecraft Microsat-R (International Designator 2019-006A, U.S. Strategic Command [USSTRATCOM] Space Surveillance Network [SSN] catalog number 43947), launched on 24 January 2019, was intentionally destroyed in a test of a ground-based, direct-ascent Anti-Satellite (ASAT) weapon system at 0640 GMT on 27 March 2019. At the time of breakup the 740 kg spacecraft was in an approximately 294 x 265 km altitude, 96.63° orbit. A total of 101 debris have entered the public satellite catalog (through object 2019-006DF), of which 49 fragments remain on-orbit as of 15 July 2019. However, over 400 fragments were initially tracked by SSN sensors and cataloging is complicated by the low altitude of the event and the concomitant rapid orbital decay. A Gabbard plot of this debris cloud is presented in the figure on page 2. A Centaur V Single-Engine Centaur (SEC) rocket variant (International Designator 2018-079B, SSN number 43652) fragmented in early April 2019. At the time of the event the stage was in an approximately 35,092 x 8526 km altitude, 12.2° orbit. This Centaur V upper stage is associated with the launch of the USA 288, or Advanced Extremely High Frequency 4 (AEHF 4), spacecraft from the (U.S.) Air Force Eastern Test Range on 17 October 2018. The cause of the event is unknown. No debris have entered the catalog at this time, but the ODQN will provide updates should they become publicly available.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Anz-Meador, Phillip D. (Jacobs Engineering Group Houston, TX, United States)
Date Acquired
August 6, 2019
Publication Date
August 1, 2019
Publication Information
Publication: NASA Orbital
Volume: 23
Issue: 3
Subject Category
Space Sciences (General)
Report/Patent Number
Meeting Information
International Orbital Debris Conference (IOC)(Houston, TX)
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits
Public Use Permitted.

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