Re: Close approach of manned spacecraft expected

From: Fred Valcho (
Date: Wed Dec 23 2009 - 21:28:30 UTC

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    From: Amateur Satellite TRacking Organization (ASTRO)
     Please be advised that any visible Santasat sightings carry possible severe penalties.
    ----- Original Message ----
    From: Fred Valcho <>
    To: Robert Holdsworth <>; Seesat List <>
    Sent: Wed, December 23, 2009 1:06:20 PM
    Subject: Re: Close approach of manned spacecraft expected
    Readiness Alert!
    UNCLASSIFIED World Wide Communications
    To: All recipients
    Reliable sources have confirmed re-entry for Santasat will be 00:00 UTC. The vehicle will circle the Earth's upper atmosphere just under 100 miles in altitude for a single pass, then descend to lower altitudes, stepping down to maneuver for several possible  landing sites.  The landing sites have not been revealed, due to several conditions, including weather and vehicle readiness. Tracking will be possible through audible alarms (hereby referred to as "bell" soundings, very similar to "pings" heard in sonar tracking techniques) as the Santasat nears Earth's surface.
    Please post ANY visible sightings or audible sightings ASAP.
    ----- Original Message ----
    From: Robert Holdsworth <>
    To: Seesat List <>
    Sent: Mon, December 21, 2009 11:53:47 PM
    Subject: Close approach of manned spacecraft expected
    According to reliable sources a manned craft that is only visible once a year just after the solstice is again heading toward earth reaching perigee of its polar orbit on December 25th and is likely to enter the earth's atmosphere.  It seems to be known as either Santasat (after its captain) or Sleighsat.
    It will initially pass close to my longitude some time early morning (as we are some of the first in the world to begin December 25th)  and then pass over the rest of the world during local darkness.    This is not a visible object, and in fact there are believed to be severe penalties for successful observation such as loss of observation of any gifts later in the morning.  However it has been rumored that the propulsion module designated "Rudolph" reflects light at the red end of the spectrum and may emit flares.
    There have been a number of unsuccessful attempts to reconcile the orbit using conventional orbital mechanics but it seems none have come up with a satisfactory explanation for the orbit and  for its capacity to land at many selected locations then relaunch.  Although the eccentricity of the orbit may be in question that of the pilot appears to be reasonably well established!
    Further reading on this subject can be found in the following Seesat posts:
    The thread commencing at
    I hope that some of the payload is jettisoned at your location, and that you are given clear skies. .  Most of all I wish you a happy and prosperous season.
    (As the latest Soyuz R/B is due to decay close to the same time I wonder whether there will be any cases of mistaken identity ;-)
    Robert Holdsworth
    New Zealand
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