Question regarding the status of Chinese Satellite SJ-6D

From: Chris Zietkiewicz (
Date: Tue Jan 25 2011 - 09:13:40 UTC

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    To anyone that can help.
    I am hoping someone within the SatObs community can help me understand
    the current status of Chinese military satellite SJ-6D (USSPACECOM
    Catalog No.:  29506, 596 x 599 km, 97.7°).
    On December 31, 2010 at 6:10AM PST, a witness (see bottom of page) in
    Carmel, California (36.5552387, -121.9232879) reported observing a
    satellite in a doublet formation.  A good fit to this observation is
    SJ-6D suggesting that it maybe a new subject for China's rendezvous
    experiments (see note and link below) that previously involved SJ-6F
    and SJ-12.  Has anyone observed SJ-6D recently who can confirm if it
    is now in a doublet configuration?
    Thank you and best regards,
    >From the August 31, 2010 story I learned that China is experimenting
    with satellite rendezvouses by maneuvering SJ-12 (USSPACECOM Catalog
    No.:  36596, 588 x 604 km, 97.7°) within a short distance from SJ-6F
    (USSPACECOM Catalog No.:  33409, 580 x 606 km, 97.6°).
    Original witness statement:
    Approximately 0610, 31 Dec. 2010, Carmel, CA. Appeared to be satellite
    transiting NE to S, approx. 60 degree elevation, estimate 4.0 to 3.5
    magnitude brightness. Noticed however, that was not single, but two
    separate objects one following the other/identical path, separation
    less than narrow profile of book match head held at arm’s length.
    While small, definitely two separate objects/illuminations.
    Illumination lost at apogee approximately due E/SE. Could not find
    reference to two object or appearance as such illumination on
    satellite reference sites.
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