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Satellites mistaken for asteroids
gndonald
post Sep 29 2013, 05:30 AM
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The recent report on how the third stage of the Chang'e 2 booster reminded me of a case that pre-dated the 2002 detection of the Apollo 12 third stage. I cannot remember the full details but I think the satellite in question was called W.I.N.D and was actually mistaken for an Earth-impacting asteroid and was only identified as a spacecraft when a brightening of the surface was matched with the firing of attitude thrusters on the spacecraft.

Can anyone confirm my memory and out of curiousity how many other cases of this mistake are there?

ADMIN: Did you try Googling the answer first? There are several examples related to your question.

NB: Forum Rule 2.3 "Before posting a question, use Google to attempt to answer it yourself...."
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stevesliva
post Sep 29 2013, 02:01 PM
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Rosetta was mistaken for an asteroid in 2007. Discussed here, I believe.
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gndonald
post Dec 20 2013, 03:30 PM
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Found the website for the WIND satellite, but it lacks a history of the spacecraft.

WIND Spacecraft Page
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Christopher Thra...
post Dec 25 2013, 03:29 PM
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WIND was sighted by Steward Observatory on Kitt Peak on 19 February 2001 and assigned temporary designation K01D47O. Follow-up observations led to its designation as minor planet 2001 DO47 ( http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/mpec/K01/K01D28.html ). If you search for "2001 DO47" you should be able to find all the discussion you could want.

In general, the Distant Artificial Satellite Observations page at the MPC ( http://www.minorplanetcenter.net/iau/Space.../SpaceJunk.html ) is a good starting point for questions such as these.
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Floyd
post Dec 26 2013, 01:25 AM
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Thanks Christopher for your informative post and welcome to UMSF!


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Floyd
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