Status Report

SPACEWARN Bulletin Number 559 (DRAFT)

By SpaceRef Editor
June 1, 2000
Filed under

SPACEWARN Bulletin Number 559 (DRAFT)

01 June 2000

A publication of NASA’s National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information as the WWAS for ISES/COSPAR

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between
1 May 2000 and 31 May 2000.

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

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.

     2000-028A (26369) Eutelsat W4           25 May
     2000-027A (26368) STS 101               19 May
     2000-026B (26366) Simsat 2              16 May
     2000-026A (26365) Simsat 1              16 May
     2000-025A (26360) Navstar 51 (USA 150)  11 May
     2000-024A (26356) DSP 20 (USA 149)      08 May
     2000-023A (26354) Cosmos 2370           03 May
     2000-022A (26352) GOES 11               03 May

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

2000-028A Eutelsat W4
is a geosynchronous communications spacecraft owned
by that European consortium. It was launched at 23:10 UT by the new
model Atlas 3 that is propelled by a Russian engine, RD 180. The
1,380 kg (dry mass), 6 kW spacecraft carries 31 channels in the
Ku-BSS band to provide voice and video communications to eastern
African countries, eastern European countries, and Russia after
parking over 36 deg-E longitude. (There are two more operational
Eutelsats: Eutelsat W2 at 16-E and Eutelsat W3 at 7-E.)
2000-027A STS 101
is an American shuttle craft that was launched from Cape
Canaveral at 10:11 UT. The main mission was to carry out repairs and
upgrades to the International Space Station (ISS): to replace four
of the six solar charged batteries on the Zarya module, to stabilize
a wobbly 3-meter construction crane that was installed during an
earlier shuttle mission, to complete the installation of a partially
installed Russian 15-meter crane on the Zarya module, to replace a
faulty communications antenna, to boost by 32 km the altitude of the
station which has been loosing 2.4 km/week, to deliver a tonne of
food, fuel and supplies to the station, and prepare the station for
the arrival of the Russian service module, Zvezda, in mid-July. All
objectives were implemented and STS 101 landed back in Cape
Canaveral at 06:20 UT on 29 May. Initial orbital parameters were
period 91 min, altitude 320 km, and inclination 51.6 deg.
2000-026A, 2000-026B Simsat 1 and Simsat 2
were launched by the new Russian rocket
named Rokot from Plesetsk cosmodrome at 08:28 UT. Both satellites
are dummies simulating future commercial launches. (Earlier, the
USSPACECOM had named the Simsats as Dummysats.) Rokot is the
two-stage UR-100N ICBM (known as SS-19 in NATO), but augmented by
the addition of a Bris-Km booster stage and capable of launching
two-tonne satellites into low earth orbits inexpensively. (Previous
launches of the SS-19 from a silo had engendered unacceptable
acoustic impact on the payload.) Initial orbital parameters of both
the dummies were similar: period 95.6 min, apogee 550 km, perigee
536 km, and inclination 86.4 deg.
2000-025A Navstar 51
(USA 150) is the latest addition to the American GPS
fleet of navigation satellites, and was launched by a Delta 2 rocket
from Cape Canaveral at 01:48 UT. The 24-spacecraft fleet was
completed in 1994, but Navstar 51 will replace a failing member.
GPS navigational location has until recently been at 100 meter
accuracy for civilian use signals, and at 20 meter accuracy for
military use signals. As of 1 May 2000, the DoD has voided the
intentional degradation of the accuracy for civilian use, and made
it on a par with the military accuracy. But it retains the
prerogative to degrade the accuracy at selected locations when
necessary. Also known as PRN20 (in GPS parlance), it replaces
the failing PRN14 in Slot E-1. An update of the GPS fleet has been
provided by Richard B. Langley, and is appended in section C-2.
Initial orbital parameters of Navstar 51 were period 712 min,
altitude 20,200 km, and inclination 55 deg.
2000-024A DSP 20
(USA 149) is an American geosynchronous military
reconnaissance satellite that was launched by a Titan 4B rocket from
Cape Canaveral. The 2.5 tonne, 680 W spacecraft is the 20th in the
DSP (Defense Support Program) fleet and is reported to carry 6,000
lead sulfide infra-red sensors to detect rocket launches and
nuclear explosions, from horizon to horizon.
2000-023A Cosmos 2370
is a Russian military reconnaissance spacecraft that
was launched by a Soyuz-U rocket from Baikonur at 13:25 UT. It is
the 22nd member of the Neman fleet of spy satellites. It is a follow-up
to the Tselina 2 (Cosmos 2369) spacecraft which merely
intercepted radio transmissions, especially over Chechnya; Cosmos
2370 has photo-reconnaissance resources also, with data arriving in
digital form. According to Moscow’s Kommersant newspaper, until
this launch, Russia has remained without photo-reconnaissance
resources for five months, after the failure of the Kobalt (Cosmos 2365)
spacecraft in December 1999. The imaging will be done mainly over
Chechnya, since there is no functional relaying resource in
geosynchronous orbit (via the now dysfunctional Geyzer spacecraft)
for images from elsewhere on the globe. Initial orbital parameters
were period 89.6 min, apogee 279 km, perigee 229 km, and inclination
64.8 deg.
2000-022A GOES 11
is an American geosynchronous meteorological spacecraft
that was launched by an Atlas-2A/Centaur rocket from Cape Canaveral
at 07:07 UT. The instruments onboard the 2,105 kg (with fuel)
spacecraft are almost identical to the ones onboard GOES-8, -9,and
-10. The major ones are the Imager, the Sounder and the SEM package.
The Imager scans East-West with a north-south swath of eight km, in
four spectral channels: 0.55-0.75, 3.8-4.0, 6.5-7.0, 10.2-11.2, and
11.5-12.5 micron wavelength bands. The Sounder has 19 discrete
wavelength channels covering 0.7 to 14.71 microns. It is called a
“sounder” only because the progressive increase in the atmospheric
opacity from channel to channel enables sampling the atmosphere as
those many layers for temperature, moisture content, and ozone
distribution. The SEM package consists of a magnetometer, X-ray
sensor, and energetic electron, proton and alpha particle detectors.
The spacecraft also carries a transponder for search and recovery
activities. The spacecraft has now been parked over 104 deg-W
longitude, about halfway between GOES 8 (75 W) and GOES 10 (135 W).
(GOES 9 which had malfunctioned in 1998 is passively stored in orbit
to replace any GOES that may fail.)

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.)

    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. (“NNN” denotes no national name. SPACEWARN
    would appreciate suggestions to update this list. An asterisk [*] denotes
    changes in this issue.)

    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.

    An e-mail communication from Richard B. Langley is
    available which provides a status of the Navstar GPS Constellation as of
    20 May 2000.

  3. Russian Global Navigational (Positioning) Spacecraft, GLONASS
    constellation. (SPACEWARN requests updates/additions from readers to this list.
    Entries marked “*” are updates or additions to the 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

    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:
    maintained by the Coordinational
    Scientific Information Center (CSIC),Russian Space Forces.

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

    Designations         Common Name              Decay Date (2000)
    2000-027A (26368) STS 101               Land back on 29 May    
    1989-094A (20338) MOLNIYA 3-36                       19 May
    1994-026B (23098) R/B Titan 4/Centaur                18 May
    2000-017B (26114) R/B Delta 2                        17 May
    1977-061B (10135) R/B that launched COSMOS 925       17 May
    1963-022B (00603) R/B Scout X-3                      17 May
    2000-008E (26085) R/B Delta 2                        15 May
    2000-023B (26355) R/B Soyuz-U                        06 May

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

    2000-018A, Soyuz TM has been renamed as Soyuz TM-30.

  6. 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 accessed via anonymous FTP from NSSDC.
    (See About the SPACEWARN Bulletin
    for access method; a file in the active directory named AAREADME.TXT,
    outlines the contents.)

    Other files interest for Earth-centered spacecraft can be generated through 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.