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Artificial satellite Mayak

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djswan2002's picture
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Artificial satellite Mayak

This Russian satellite, launched on a Soyuz a few days ago, is forecast to be 1.0<mag<-1.0 bright and well placed for those in the UK over the next few days.

I've checked out the predicted passes on Heavens-Above, and I'll try to get out and get some photos with my DSLR.

Who knows: the hyperbolic press might be right, and it may prove blazingly bright!

David Swan

Grant Privett's picture
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Previous deorbit sail

It may even be right.

I observed the Canadian CanX-7 satellite which had a smaller solar sail deployed and during one pass it became as bright (for  a second) as Regulus - perhaps because it was pretty obviously tumbling at that point.

Should be worth a look. Is there a date yet for when it deploys?

Lars Lindhard's picture
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Artificial satellite Mayak

The satellite should pass here in Denmark at 1:45 Danish summer time (GMT+2) but it was not visible. Maybe the sail did not deploy as planned.

djswan2002's picture
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Mayak

Grant, I have searched - in vain - for information about deployment of the reflective sheets. Where I am, it was completely overcast last night (18/19 Jul), so I made no observation. Lars, I have yet to see a report on a positive sighting. You may well be right.

Grant Privett's picture
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Mayak sail deployment

"Mayak will stay on orbit for one month. After termination of term of use it will be deorbited and burnt in the atmosphere."

That was on their website. I take that to mean it will exist as a simple cubesat for a while (a month?) and it will collect data. Then when that mission is achieved it will deploy the sail to deorbit. I imagine a month also gives them a chance to get a good handle on how the orbit would decay without the sail, so that after deployment the change becomes more apparent.

Cubesats can be pretty dim so an up to date TLE, good pointing accuracy and a GPS system setting your system clock are essentials for a tracking system.

Grant Privett's picture
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No show

Looked for Mayak with 10x50 bins during the 00:06 pass tonight and saw nothing. Sky was hazy so limiting mag 6.5-7.0 but nothing seen at all. I assume it has yet to deploy.

Has anyone had any luck yet?

John Bell's picture
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Mayak video

Think I caught it at the pass Grant refers to. Pretty faint. The picture is a screen grab from my video with the track drawn in and the video is here on youtube  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76vWAMefgRY   (replaced original with video more easily seen)

Lars Lindhard's picture
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Mayak failure

It is reported that Mayak failed to deploy the light-reflecting surface

http://cosmomayak.ru/news/article/mayak-ne-sumel-piramidu

djswan2002's picture
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Mayak update

Thanks Lars. My Russian is rather flaky ;) , so please find a Google translation attached.

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