Obect A , Cosmos 2441 revealed just three days after launch

From: John Locker (john@satcom.freeserve.co.uk)
Date: Tue Jul 29 2008 - 23:03:59 UTC

  • Next message: Marco Langbroek: "SATOBS ML (4353) CAM, 29 Jul 2008: USA 186"

    As to be expected tonight was cloudy....but with breaks.
    At 2238 I spotted Object B .it was to run below the roof line so from the 
    location of the scope could not be imaged , but I followed it through a 
    couple of gaps. It was very fast.
    This brief glimpse gave me a good impression of where to look for Object B 
    which was to follow 13 minutes later , nearly 40 degs higher in the sky..
    The cloud was not kind , but , I did manage to fire off a few frames when 
    "A" came zipping through.
    For the short time that I saw it it seemed to be at the predicted magnitude 
    of 1.5.
    My impression is that this bird is very much like USA 129 in design , with 
    perhaps a greater diameter conical "barrel" and panels along each side...a 
    cross perhaps between Arkon and Hubble.
    It is no more than about five metres in length.
    From the obs I would summise that this "is" an optical instrument.
    Four raw frames have been placed at
    http://satcom.website.orange.co.uk/     ( Recent Obs tag ) Range about 240 
    On the left raw frames with dark frame subtracted...on the right the same 
    frames without DF.
    One of the solar panels is easy to see , the other slightly in shadow
    This is an exceptionally hard satellite to track due to its speed ( I 
    thought USA 193 was difficult , but this one takes the biscuit ! ) . . . but 
    considering the circumstances , the results , whilst  minimal , have given 
    us a number of pointers as to the design of this  bird.
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