Status Report

SPACEWARN Bulletin 590 01 Jan 2003

By SpaceRef Editor
January 2, 2003
Filed under ,

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

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between
1 December 2002 and 31 December 2002.

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

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.

  COSPAR/WWAS USSPACECOM  SPACECRAFT              LAUNCH
    INT.ID    CAT. #      NAME                   DATE (UT)
  ---------------------------------------------------------
   2002-062A    (27632)  Nimiq 2          29 December 2002
   2002-061A    (27630)  Shenzhou 4       29 December 2002
   2002-060C    (27619)  Cosmos 2396      25 December 2002
   2002-060B    (27618)  Cosmos 2395      25 December 2002
   2002-060A    (27617)  Cosmos 2394      25 December 2002
   2002-059A    (27613)  Cosmos 2393      24 December 2002
   2002-058F    (27610)  Rubin 2          20 December 2002
   2002-058E    (27609)  Payload-E        20 December 2002
   2002-058D    (27608)  Payload-D        20 December 2002
   2002-058C    (27607)  Payload-C        20 December 2002
   2002-058B    (27606)  Payload-B        20 December 2002
   2002-058A    (27605)  Payload-A        20 December 2002
   2002-057A    (27603)  NSS 6            17 December 2002
   2002-056D    (27600)  Micro-Labsat     14 December 2002
   2002-056C    (27599)  WEOS             14 December 2002
   2002-056B    (27598)  Fedsat           14 December 2002
   2002-056A    (27597)  Adeos 2          14 December 2002
   2002-055A    (27566)  TDRS 10          05 December 2002

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

2002-062A Nimiq 2
is a Canadian geostationary communications spacecraft
that was launched by a Proton-M rocket (topped by a BRIZ-M
booster) from Baikonur at 23:17 UT on 29 December 2002. The
3.6 tonne (with fuel) spacecraft will provide radio, digital and
“interactive” television, and internet services to subscribers in
all of North America through its 32, 120 W, Ku-band transponders
after parking over 91° W longitude.
2002-061A Shenzhou 4
(meaning Divine Vessel) is a Chinese (PRC) unmanned
test satellite that was launched from Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center
in northwestern China by a Long March 2F rocket at 16:40 UT on
29 December 2002. It carries a retrievable crew module with all
furnishings, test equipment, and dummy astronauts to assess its
viability for a manned launch. (Very similar to the Russian Soyuz
spacecraft, the Shenzhous carry two other modules, a service
module for storing fuel and equipment, and an orbiter to continue
on after the release of the crew module.) The crew module will make
a parachuted soft-landing on the grasslands of Inner Mongolia after
a seven day mission. The initial orbital parameters were period
89.8 min, apogee 329 km, perigee 196 km, and inclination 42.4°.
2002-060A,  2002-060B,
  2002-060C
Cosmos 2394, Cosmos 2395, and Cosmos 2396
are three Glonass
fleet spacecraft that were launched by a Proton-K rocket from
Baikonur at 07:38 UT on 25 December 2002. They extend the current,
depleted fleet of nine spacecraft to 12, which will grow further to
a fleet of 18 spacecraft by 2004, and to 24 by 2005. (The original
fleet had 24 spacecraft in the 1980s.) The initial orbital
parameters of all three were close: period 676 min, apogee
19,137 km, perigee 19,127 km and inclination 64.8°.
2002-059A Cosmos 2393
is a Russian military communications spacecraft that
was launched by a Molniya-M rocket from Plesetsk at 12:20 UT on
24 December 2002. The initial orbital parameters were period
704.6 min, apogee 39,187 km, perigee 517 km, and inclination 62.8°.
2002-058A,  2002-058B,
  2002-058C,  2002-05D,
  2002-058E,  2002-05F
Payload A, B, C, D, E, and Rubin 2
are six pico-/micro-satellites
that were launched from Baikonur by a Dnepr rocket at 17:00 UT on
20 December 2002. (Dnepr is a converted SS 18 ICBM.) Except for
2002-058F which has been identified as Rubin 2, but had failed
to separate from the rocket, all other five remain unmatched
with the IDs and their NORAD Catalog numbers. We know the names of
all of them however, and provide below brief outlines of the
payloads. The initial orbital parameters of five of them were
close enough: period 98 min, apogee 670±25 km, perigee
635±4 km, and inclination 64.6°. For 2002-058F, Rubin 2
(+ rocket), they were period 101 min, apogee 1,005 km, perigee 600 km, and inclination 64.6°.

Rubin 2 is a German microsatellite that was launched from Baikonur
by a Dnepr rocket at 17:00&nbspUT on 20 December 2002. It is a test
satellite that can operate without a dedicated ground station. It can
be operated via an internet link from a PC, using the Orbcomm mobile
messaging satellite network. It did not separate from the launch
vehicle.

Unisat 2 is a 12 kg, Italian picosat that was launched from
Baikonur by a Dnepr rocket at 17:00 UT on 20 December 2002. It
carries a camera, and debris/aerosol detection sensors.

Latinsat-A and Latinsat-B are two Argentine picosatellites that were
launched by a Dnepr rocket from Baikonur at 17:00 UT on 20 December
2002. These 12 kg satellites will monitor both fixed and mobile goods
for the transportation industry.

Saudisat 1C is a Saudi Arabian picosatellite that was launched by
a Dnepr rocket from Baikonur at 17:00 UT on 20 December 2002. No
further information is available.

Trailblazer is a 100 kg mockup of an American, commercial lunar
orbiter that was launched from Baikonur by a Dnepr rocket
at 17:00 UT on 20 Dcember 2002, for testing the viability
of the craft for orbiting the Moon. If successful, these Lunar
orbiters (and landers) will be launched in late 2003 through 2005.
The company that sponsored the satellite “believes that there
is a commercial demand for sending personal items, and burial ashes
to the Moon”.

2002-057A NSS 6
is a Netherlands geostationary communications spacecraft
that was launched by an Ariane 4 rocket from Kourou at 23:04 UT on
20 December 2002. The 4.5 tonne (with fuel) spacecraft carriers
50 Ku-band and 10 Ka-band transponders to provide voice, video and
data communications to India, China, Southeast Asia, and Australia
after parking over 95° E longitude.
2002-056D Micro-Labsat
is a Japanese technology experiment microsatellite
that was launched by a H-2 rocket from Tanegashima Space Flight
Center at 01:31 UT on 14 December 2002. Initial orbital parameters
were period 100.8 min, apogee 805 km, perigee 789 km, and
inclination 98.7°.
2002-056C WEOS
(Whale Ecology Observation Satellite) is a Japanese
microsatellite that was launched by a H-2 rocket from Tanegashima
SFC at 01:31 UT on 14 December 2002. It will monitor whale
migrations. Initial orbital parameters were period 100.8 min,
apogee 805 km, perigee 791 km, and inclination 98.7°.
2002-056B Fedsat
is an Australian (50 kg) microsatellite that was launched by a
H-2 rocket from Tanegashima Space Flight Center at 01:31 UT on
14 December 2002. It carries communications, navigation and computing
systems, and a sensitive magnetometer (named NewMag). It is
also reported to carry a compact disk carrying voice recordings of
300 Australians as a time capsule enduring its estimated 100-year
orbital life-span. It experienced some tumbling that requires
corrective efforts. Initial orbital parameters were period
100.9 min, apogee 806 km, perigee 793 km, and
inclination 98.7°.
2002-056A Adeos 2,
also known as Midori 2 is a Japanese (NASDA) remote sensing
spacecraft that was launched by a H-2 rocket from Tanegashima Space
Flight Center at 01:31 UT on 14 December 2002. The 3.7 tonne (with
fuel), 5 kW spacecraft has the dimensions of 4 m x 4 m x 5 m, and
has a single solar panel of 0.3 m x 24 m. It carries five
instruments to monitor the global climate trends. Initial orbital
parameters were period 101 min, apogee 807 km, perigee 806 km, and
inclination 98.7°

AMSR (Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer) monitors water vapor,
precipitation, sea surface temperature, wind, and ice by means of
microwave radiation emanating from Earth’s surface and atmosphere.
It is a radiometer that operates in eight frequency bands covering
6.9 GHz to 89 GHz, and monitors the horizontal and vertical
polarizations separately. With a dish of two meter aperture, the
spatial resolution is 5 km in the 89 GHz band, degrading to 60 km
at 6.9 GHz.

GLI (GLobal Imager) is an optical sensor to observe solar radiation
reflected from Earth’s surface and map vegetation, clouds etc. The
data is acquired in 23 visible/near-infrared, and in 13 far-infrared
channels. The scanning is done by a rotating mirror
covering 12 km along track and 1,600 km cross-track, and at a
resolution of 1.0 km.

SeaWinds is a scatterometer that provides wind speed and direction by
observing the microwave reflection from ocean surfaces. With its
1.0 m dish, it scans the surface along conical surfaces at 18 rpm.
It provides speed at an accuracy of 2 m/s, wind direction at an
accuracy of 20°, both with a spatial resolution of 5 km.

ILAS-2 (Improved Limb Atmospheric Spectrometer 2) maps the vertical
distribution of O3, NO2, HNO3, H2O, CFC-11, CFC-12, CH4, N2O, and
ClONO2, as well as the distribution of temperature and pressure,
all in the stratosphere. It observes the absorption spectrum in
Earth’s atmospheric limb in the 3-13 micron wavelength band, and in
the 753-784 nm band of the occulting Sun. The altitude resolution
is 100 m.

POLDER (POLarization and Directionality of Earth’s Reflectances)
measures the polarization, and spectral characteristics of the solar
light reflected by aerosols, clouds, oceans and land surfaces. Eight
narrow band wavelengths (443,490, 564, 670, 763, 765, 865, and
910 nm) are covered by the instrument which enables identification of
the physical and optical properties of the aerosols and their role
in radiation budget.

2002-055A TDRS 10
is an American (NASA), geostationary Tracking and Data Relay
Satellite that was launched by an Atlas 2A rocket from Cape
Canaveral at 14:42 UT on 5 December 2002, and soon reached its
testing location at 150° W longitude. It joins the currently
operational fleet of six TDRSs which are used to relay data from
many science-payload NASA satellites. The 3.2 tonne (with fuel),
1.7 kW, hexagonal, triaxially-stabilized TDRS 10 spacecraft’s
enhanced capability includes simultaneous coverage of five spacecraft
at multiple frequencies and at a data rate of 800 megabits/s from
its Ka-band transponders, 300 Mbps from its Ku-band, and 6 Mbps
from its S-band transponders.

C. Spacecraft Particularly Suited for International Participation

  1. 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.)

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

  2. 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:    igscb.jpl.nasa.gov  [directory /igscb]
         WWW:    http://igscb.jpl.nasa.gov/
         E-mail: [email protected]
    

    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:

    http://www.colorado.edu/geography/gcraft/notes/gps/gps_f.html

    It provides many links to GPS related databases.

  3. Russian Global Navigational (Positioning) Spacecraft, GLONASS
    constellation. (SPACEWARN requests updates/additions from readers to this list.)

    All GLONASS spacecraft are in the general COSMOS series. The COSMOS numbers
    (nnnn) 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
    Russia.

    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 appeared in SPX-545. It
    will not be repeated in view of the excellent updated source at:
    http://www.rssi.ru/SFCSIC/english.html
    maintained by the Coordinational
    Scientific Information Center (CSIC),Russian Space Forces.

    The latest additions to the GLONASS fleet are Cosmos 2394, Cosmos 2395, and
    Cosmos 2396.

  4. Visually bright objects.

    A comprehensive list of visually bright objects with their two-line
    orbital elements is available through a NASA site as follows:

    1. Go to http://oig1.gsfc.nasa.gov/scripts/foxweb.exe/app01?
    2. Select “OIG Main Page”.
    3. Select “Send Message to System administrator”, who will provide a login account.
    4. After getting an ID and a Password, click on “Registered User Login”.
      (Step (2) is not needed after obtaining an account.)
    5. Select “Continue”.
    6. Select “General information”.
    7. Select “Reports”.
    8. Select “Special Interest Group Report”.
    9. Select “Visible Interest Satellites” along with “Header and TLE”.

    The list does not provide visual magnitude, but are
    expected to be brighter than magnitude 5.
    Note: The login requirement is enforced due to the events on 11 September 2001.

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

    Designations         Common Name                  Decay Date (2002)
    
    1984-085A (15182)  MOLNIYA 1-61                        31 December
    1967-104B (03019)  R/B                                 27 December
    2002-029F (27448)  R/B(Aux. Mot.)                      23 December
    1984-085D (15188)  R/B(2)                              20 December
    2002-042C (27517)  R/B(1) H-2A                         11 December
    2002-053A (27557)  ASTRA 1K                            10 December
    2002-048B (27541)  R/B(1)                              08 December
    1993-032B (22658)  R/B(1) Delta 2                      08 December
    2002-052A (27556)  STS 113              Landed on      07 December
    2002-041B (27514)  R/B Ariane 44L                      04 December
    
  6. 60-day Decay Predictions.

    The USSPACECOM forecasts and maintains a
    list of decays of orbiting objects expected in the next 60 days , with fair
    accuracy. The list may be accessed through a NASA site as follows:

    1. Go to http://oig1.gsfc.nasa.gov/scripts/foxweb.exe/app01?
    2. Select “OIG Main Page”.
    3. Select “Send Message to System administrator”, who will provide a login account.
    4. After getting an ID and a Password, click on “Registered User Login”.
      (Step (2) is not needed after obtaining an account.)
    5. Select “Continue”.
    6. Select “General information”.
    7. Select “Reports”.
    8. Select “Sixty Day Decay…”.

    Note: The login requirement is enforced due to the events on 11 September 2001.

  7. Miscellaneous Items. (This section contains information/data that
    are entered on occasion and may not be repeated in each issue of the
    SPACEWARN Bulletin.)

  8. 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:
    http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/space/

    For off-line data, please contact the Request Office, NSSDC, Code 633,
    NASA GSFC, Greenbelt, Maryland 20771, U.S.A., for specific information
    ([email protected]).
    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:
    ftp://nssdcftp.gsfc.nasa.gov/miscellaneous/orbits/

    Other files interest for Earth-centered spacecraft can be generated through the URL,
    http://sscweb.gsfc.nasa.gov/

    Programs related to the heliospheric spacecraft trajectories can be executed
    through the URL,
    http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/space/helios/heli.html

    Magnetospheric, Planetary, and Astronomical science data from many spacecraft
    may be accessed through links from the URL:
    http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/sc-query.html

SpaceRef staff editor.