Status Report

NASA Spacewarn Bulletin No. 628 01 March 2006

By SpaceRef Editor
October 10, 2006
Filed under , ,


A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information

No. 628 01 March 2006

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 01 February 2006 and 28 February 2006.

A. List of New International Designations and Launch Dates (UTC).

    INT.ID    CAT. #      NAME                   DATE (UT)
   2006-006A    28943    Arabsat 4A            28 February 2006
   2006-005A    28939    Akari (Astro-F)       21 February 2006
   2006-004A    28937    MTSat 2               18 February 2006
   2006-003A    28935    Echostar 10           15 February 2006

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

Arabsat 4A
is a geostationary communications satellite of the
Arabsat consortium that was launched by a Proton-M rocket from
Baikonur at 20:10 UT on 28 February 2006. The 3.3 tonne (with fuel)
satellite carries 24 C-band and 16 Ku-band transponders to provide
voice, video and internet services to all Arab countries, after
parking over 26° E longitude. It is unlikely that it could be
made geostationary because the tranfer orbit attained an apogee
of 14,700 km only, instead of the usual 36,000 km.
also known by its pre-launch name Astro-F, is a Japanese
(JAXA/ISAS) astrophysics mission that was launched by an M-5 rocket
from Uchinoura Space Center (at the southern tip of Kyushu Island)
at 21:28 UT on 21 February 2006. (The rocket also released a 3.6 kg
picosatellite, named Cute 1.7 (2006-005C) to train students at the Tokyo
Institute of Technology.) The 955 kg satellite carries a
Ritchey-Chretien, F/6.1 infrared telescope with aperture 67 cm and focal
length 420 cm. The primary mirror is a gold-coated silicon carbide.
It carries two focal plane instruments kept at a temperature of
6 K (-450°F) by 170 liter of liquid
helium. The helium supply will last for 550 days of observations.
Akari is expected to provide a significant advance over the
results from the earlier NASA/ESA mission, IRAS (1983-004A).
FIS (Far-Infrared Surveyor) covers four wavelength bands: 50-89,
60-110, 110-180, and 140-180 microns. The detecting CCD pixels are
made of Ge:Ga, each covering 27 arc-secs in the shorter wavelength
bands, and 44 arc-secs in the longer bands. The pixels are
sampled at a rate of about 20 Hz.
IRC (InfraRed Camera) consists of three cameras: NIR covers the
wavelength band of 1.7-5.5 microns, MIR-S covers 5.8-14.1 microns
and MIR-L covers 12.4-26.5 microns. The NIR carries a CCD array of
512 x 412 InSb pixels, while the MIRs carry 256 x 256, Si:As pixels.
Each of the three have a field-of-view of about 10 x 10 arc-min.
More information is available in
The initial orbital parameters
of Akari were period 96.6 min, apogee 694.5 km, perigee 569.9 km,
and inclination 98.2°.
MTSat 2
is a Japanese (JAXA) geostationary weather satellite that was
launched by an H2-A rocket from Tanegashima Space Center at 06:55 UT
on 18 February 2006. The 1,250 kg (dry mass), 2.7 kW, 2.4 m x 2.6 m x
2.6 m box-shaped satellite carries an imaging telescope, backed by
detectors for five wavelength channels: (1) Visible band at
0.55-0.80 microns, detected by silicon photovoltaic detectors at a
spatial resolution of 1.25 km; (2) 10.3-11.3 micron infrared channel
(IR1) with a HgCdTe photoconductive detector. (3) 11.5-12.5 micron
channel (IR2) with a HgCdTe detector; (4) 6.5-7.0 micron water vapor
channel (IR3) with a HgCdTe detector; and, (5) 3.5-4.0 micron near-infrared
channel with an InSb photovoltaic detector. All infrared
channels provide a spatial resolution of 5.0 km. The imagery will
provide weather data/warnings, after parking over 145° E
longitude. The satellite will also relay ground weather data from
many stations to the Meteorological Satellite Center (MSC) in Japan.
Echostar 10
is an American geostationary communications satellite
that was launched by a Zenit 3SL rocket from the floating platform
Odyssey on the equatorial Pacific Ocean (154° W) at 23:35 UT on
15 February 2006. The 4.3 tonne (with fuel) satellite carries
several Ku-band transponders to provide direct-to-home transmissions
of voice, video and internet services, through 10 uplink and
49 downlink spot beams, after parking over 110° W longitude.

C. Spacecraft Particularly Suited for International Participation

Spacecraft with essentially continuous radio beacons on frequencies
less than 150 MHz, or higher frequencies if especially suited for ionospheric
or geodetic studies.

NNSS denotes U.S. Navy Navigational Satellite System. Updates or
corrections to the list are possible only with information from the
user community.

The full list appeared in SPX 545.
The list will not be repeated in future issues until significantly revised

Global Positioning System satellites useful for navigational
purposes and geodetic studies.

High precision (<20 cm) GPS constellation tracking data obtained from
the network of about 80 dedicated global stations that are of interest to
geodetic study may be obtained through the following services provided
by the International Association of Geodesy (IGS)

     FTP:  [directory /igscb]

The standard format of the GPS situation appeared in SPX-518. It will not
be repeated since an excellent source of trajectory- and science-related GPS information is at:

It provides many links to GPS related databases.

The latest addition to the fleet is Navstar 57, 2005-038A.

Russian Global Navigational (Positioning) Spacecraft, GLONASS

SPACEWARN requests updates/additions from readers to this list.

All GLONASS spacecraft are in the general COSMOS series. The COSMOS numbers
invoked by USSPACECOM have often differed from the numbers (NNNN)
associated in Russia; when different, the USSPACECOM COSMOS numbers are shown
in parentheses. The corresponding GLONASS numbers are Russian numbers, followed
by the numbers in parentheses that are sometimes attributed to them outside

The operating frequencies in MHz are computed from the channel number K.
Frequencies (MHz) = 1602.0 + 0.5625K and L2 = 1246.0 + 0.4375K.

The standard format of the GLONASS situation last appeared in
SPX-545. It
will not be repeated in view of the excellent updated source at:
maintained by the Coordinational Scientific Information Center (CSIC), Russian
Space Forces.

According to CSIC the
latest addition to the fleet are GLONASS 712, GLONASS 796, and GLONASS 797.
Their International IDs are 2005-050A, 2005-050B, and 2005-050C.

Visually bright objects.

Users must register. Conditions apply.

Actual decays/landings of payload spacecraft and rocket bodies (R/B)
only. No further information is available.

Designations         Common Name                  Decay Date (2006)

1986-103A (17264)   MOLNIYA 1-70                      01 February

60-day Decay Predictions.

Users must register for access. Conditions apply

Miscellaneous Items.

This section contains information or data that are entered on occasion
and may not be repeated in each issue of the SPACEWARN Bulletin.

Related NSSDC resources.

NSSDC/WDC for Satellite Information is an archival center for science
data from many spacecraft. Many space physics datasets are on-line for
electronic access through:

For off-line data, please contact the Request Office, NSSDC, Code 633,
NASA GSFC, Greenbelt, Maryland 20771, U.S.A., for specific information
Information on the current status of the instruments on board from the
investigators will be most welcomed. Precomputed trajectory files
and orbital parameters of many magnetospheric and heliospheric science-payload
spacecraft may be obtained from:

Other files of interest for Earth-centered spacecraft can be generated via the URL,

Programs related to the heliospheric spacecraft trajectories can be executed
through the URL,

Magnetospheric, Planetary, and Astronomical science data from many spacecraft
may be accessed through links from the URL:

SpaceRef staff editor.