I was confused by the displayed launch date for SpinSat which was carried into space aboard CRS-4 in September 2014, since it is listed as November 20, 1998. It was explained that the date refers to the launch date of Zarya - the first module of the ISS, since SpinSat was deployed into space from the ISS (via the Kibo module airlock.)
Looking at CRS-4, I see 40210 which shows a launch date of September 21, 2012, and 40211 showing a launch date of September 21, 2014. Screenshots below. 40211 seems to be a debris object, and the date is the actual launch date of CRS-4.
Question: However, why is the launch date of 40210 shown as September 21, 2012, and not either September 21, 2014 (CRS-4 actual launch) or November 20, 1998 (ISS "launch date")?
Is the system for applying launch dates to objects involved in docking maneuvers, transfers, or even captures and re-deploys described somewhere? In the future those could become more common.
If I could have followed CRS-4 and SpinSat for the past few years, would their displayed launch dates change as their situation changed?
Screenshots shown below are from http://www.n2yo.com/ circa July 2016:
1998-067appear in raw satcat data? celestrak.com/satcat/search.php) there's a Q&A here somewhere that address what to do when we run out of three-letter suffixes (e.g.
1998-067ZZZ) or some other aspect of the situation you feel would be interesting to future readers. Just a thought. $\endgroup$