Status Report

NASA Spacewarn Bulletin No. 630 01 May 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. 630 01 May 2006

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 01 April 2006 and 30 April 2006.

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

    INT.ID    CAT. #      NAME                   DATE (UT)
   2006-016B    29108    CloudSat              28 April 2006
   2006-016A    29107    CALIPSO               28 April 2006
   2006-015A    29092    RSS 1                 26 April 2006
   2006-014A    29079    EROS B-1              25 April 2006
   2006-013A    29057    Progress-M 56         24 April 2006
   2006-012A    29055    ASTRA 1KR             20 April 2006
   2006-011F    29052    Formosat 3F           15 April 2006
   2006-011E    29051    Formosat 3E           15 April 2006
   2006-011D    29050    Formosat 3D           15 April 2006
   2006-011C    29049    Formosat 3C           15 April 2006
   2006-011B    29048    Formosat 3B           15 April 2006
   2006-011A    29047    Formosat 3A           15 April 2006
   2006-010A    29045    JCSAT 9               12 April 2006

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

is an American meteorological satellite that was
launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Vandenberg AFB at 11:02 UT on
28 April 2006. It will work in concert with the co-launched CALIPSO, as
well as the three earlier satellites (Aqua, PARASOL, and Aura), all
forming what is named as A-Train. All five have almost the same
orbit, crossing the equator within 15 minutes of each other.
CloudSat carries a single radar, CPR (Cloud Profiling Radar) to
obtain the reflectivity of the clouds. It transmits and receives at
94 GHz (3.2 mm wavelength) pulses of width 3.3 microseconds, through
a two-meter dish at a rate of 4,300 pps. The reflectivity is obtained
at a height-resolution of 500 m, and width resolution of about 2 km.
Graeme Stephens of the Colorado State University at Fort Collins is
the Principal Investigator. More details are available at
The initial orbital parameters of CloudSat were period 98.6 min,
apogee 690 km, perigee 689 km, and inclination 98.2°.
(Cloud-Aerosol Lidar and Infrared Pathfinder Satellite
Observation) is an American-French (NASA-CNES) meteorological
satellite that was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Vandenberg AFB
at 11:02 UT on 28 April 2006. It will work in concert with the
co-launched CloudSat, as well as the three older satellites (Aqua,
PARASOL, and Aura), all these five forming what is named as A-Train.
The A-Train satellites have almost the same orbit, all crossing the
equator within 15 minutes. CALIPSO carries three instruments:
CALIOP (Cloud Aerosol Lidar with Orthogonal Polarization) carries a
two-wavelength (1064 nm, and 532 nm) pulsed transmitter, and receivers
fed by a one-meter diameter telescope. The 1064 nm channel monitors
the reflected intensity, and two other channels monitor the two
orthogonal polarizations. It enables derivation of the vertical
distribution of aerosols and water vapor at a resolution of 40 meters.
IIR (Imaging Infrared Radiometer) will image the clouds at three
wavelengths: 8.65, 10.6, and 12.0 micrometers in swaths of 64 km x 64 km. The
CALIOP beam will be centered on the swath. The wavelength range is
selected to obtain the emissivity of cirrus clouds. The detector is
a single microbolometer shared by the three wavelengths.
WFC (Wide Field Camera) is an off-the-shelf commercial star tracker
camera that will take pictures in the 270-620 nm band. The URL
provides more details on all
instruments. David Winker, NASA Langley Research Center, USA, and
Jacques Pelon at Institute of Pierre Simon Laplace, France are the
Principal Investigators. The initial orbital parameters were period
98.5 min, apogee 689 km, perigee 687 km, and inclination 98.2°.
(Remote Sensing Satellite 1) is a Chinese (PRC) photo-imaging
satellite that was launched by a Long March 4B rocket from Taiyuan
Launch Center at 22:48 UT on 26 April 2006. The 2.7 tonne
satellite carries instruments to enable land survey, crop appraisal
and disaster monitoring. The initial orbital parameters were period
97.2 min apogee 626 km, perigee 624 km, and inclination 97.8°.
is an Israeli commercial/military photo-imaging satellite
that was launched by a START 1 rocket (a converted ICBM) from a
mobile pad at Svobodny in far-eastern Russia at 17:47 UT on 25 April
2006. The 360 kg, 800 W satellite is capable of images at a
resolution of 70 cm. The initial orbital parameters were period
94.8 min, apogee 513 km, perigee 503 km, and inclination 97.3°.
Progress-M 56
is a Russian automatic, cargo transportation craft
that was launched by a Soyuz-U rocket from Baikonur at 16:03 UT on
24 April 2006 on its way to the International Space Station (ISS).
It carried 2.6 tonnes of fuel, food, water and equipment to the ISS
and docked with the Zvezda module at 16:12 UT on 26 April. Also
carried to the ISS was an experimental picosatellite named SPHERE (built
by MIT students) that will float inside the station,
strictly maintaining its location inside. The initial orbital
parameters were period 91.4 min, apogee 348 km, perigee 337 km,
and inclination 51.6°.
is a European geostationary communications satellite
that was launched from Cape Canaveral by an Atlas 5 rocket at 20:27 UT
on 20 April 2006. The 4.3 tonne satellite will provide direct-to-home
voice, video and internet services to much of Europe through
its 32 Ku-band transponders after parking over 19.2° E longitude.
2006-011A, 2006-011B, 2006-011C, 2006-011D, 2006-011E, 2006-011F
Formosat 3A, Formosat 3B, Formosat 3C,
Formosat 3D, Formosat 3E, and Formosat 3F
(also known as COSMIC-A, …, COSMIC-F) are six
Taiwanese-American satellites that were launched by a Minotaur
rocket from Vandenberg AFB at 01:40 UT on 15 April 2006. After
maneuvering their relative positions in the orbit, they will
enable derivation of the atmospheric temperature and water vapor
distribution by looking for the GPS radio signals arriving from the
horizon. The occulted signals suffer refraction depending upon
atmospheric parameters. Such data over oceans will be
especially useful in predicting cyclogenesis conditions. The initial
orbital parameters of all six were nearly identical: period 95 min,
apogee 540 km, perigee 496 km, and inclination 72°.
is a Japanese geostationary communications satellite that
was launched by a Zenit 3SL rocket from the floating Odyssey platform
over the equatorial Pacific Ocean at 154 deg-W longitude at 23:30 UT
on 12 April 2006. The 4.4 tonne satellite will provide voice, video
and internet services through out Asia, through its 20 C-band and
20 Ku-band transponders after parking over 132° E 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)

2000-031F (26500)    R/B Proton-K                    17 April
2004-052A (28505)    SICH-1M                         15 April
2005-039A (28877)    SOYUZ-TMA 7                     08 April
1993-002D (22312)    R/B(2) Molniya                  04 April
2006-009B (28997)    R/B Soyuz-FG                    02 April

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.

The ESA probe,
Venus Express
(2005-045A) that was launched on 09 November 2005,
attained orbit around Venus on 11 April 2006. It soon settled down to the
planned orbit with a periapsis at 250 km, and an apoapsis at 66,000 km. It has
fuel to operate for 1,000 days.

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.