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TOPIC: KOSMOS-1818


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RE: KOSMOS-1818
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A German space expert has rejected concerns about an old nuclear-powered Soviet satellite which is breaking up in space, saying its orbit appears stable and the fuel on board is not very radioactive anymore.
US space watchers highlighted the fate of Cosmos 1818 two weeks ago. A article in the January issue of Orbital Debris Quarterly News, published by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), revealed it was strewing parts.
Heiner Klinkrad, a specialist in space junk at the European Space Agency (ESA) office in Darmstadt, Germany, said in an interview with the DPA news agency that he saw no danger.

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Orbital Debris Quarterly News ( 2,525kb, PDF)

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Russia's military said Wednesday that an old Soviet-built nuclear-powered satellite has spewed fragments in orbit, but insisted they do not threaten the international space station or people on Earth.
The military's Space Forces said the decommissioned Cosmos-1818 satellite "partially fragmented" in July.

Source

Cosmos-1818 is expected to re-enter the Earths atmosphere in 2045.

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KOSMOS 1818
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KOSMOS1818B.gif
Expand (98kb, 854 x 558)

TLE Data
KOSMOS 1818
1 17369U 87011A 09018.63594620 -.00000057 +00000-0 +16339-4 0 06600
2 17369 065.0113 051.7197 0014199 253.2381 106.7142 14.31167008199047


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KOSMOS-1818
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One of the most long-lasting satellites that the Soviet Union placed into orbit some 21 years ago has now started acting up, spilling a trace of unidentified substances along its orbit, American observatories report. The January issue of the journal Orbital Debris Quarterly News details the nature of the spill, which was first observed in July 2008 by the US Space Surveillance Network. The nuclear core of the satellite has been inactive for more than two decades, so the Russian space agency Roscosmos says that the danger the spill poses is low.
According to the US Network, the debris are similar to small bubbles, which have metallic properties. This means that they are most likely made up of sodium potassium (NaK), which is a substance regularly used as a reactor coolant. One theory as to how it came to be released now states that discrepancies in temperatures recorded during the day/night cycle might have been the root cause of the malfunction.

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TLE Data

1 17369U 87011A   09017.09863131 -.00000095  00000-0  21254-5 0  6587
2 17369 065.0111 056.0227 0014259 253.0047 106.9490 14.31166579198826

Perigee height: 777 km
Apogee height: 798 km
Inclination: 65.0111°
Eccentricity: 0.0014259
Period: 100.6 min
Launch date: February 1, 1987


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