Status Report

SPACEWARN Bulletin Number 561 (DRAFT)

By SpaceRef Editor
August 1, 2000
Filed under

SPACEWARN Bulletin Number 561 (DRAFT)

01 August 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 July 2000 and 31 July 2000.

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

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.

    INT.ID    CAT. #      NAME                 DATE (2000)
   2000-043A   (26451)   PAS 9 (PanAmSat 9)        28 Jul
   2000-042A   (26414)   Mightysat 2.1             19 Jul
   2000-041B   (26411)   Cluster 2/FM6             16 Jul
   2000-041A   (26410)   Cluster 2/FM7             16 Jul
   2000-040A   (26407)   Navstar 48 (USA 151)      16 Jul
   2000-039C   (26406)   Bird-Rubin (+Rocket Body) 15 Jul
   2000-039B   (26405)   CHAMP                     15 Jul
   2000-039A   (26404)   MITA-O                    15 Jul
   2000-038A   (26402)   Echostar 6                14 Jul
   2000-037A   (26400)   Zvezda                    12 Jul
   2000-036A   (26394)   Cosmos 2371               04 Jul

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

2000-043A PAS 9
(PanAmSat 9) is a Sea Launch consortium’s geosynchronous
communications spacecraft that was launched by a Zenith-3SL rocket
from a floating platform in the equatorial Pacific ocean near
Christmas Island at 22:42 UT. The 2,389 kg spacecraft carries 24
Ku-band and 24 C-band transponders to provide over 160 voice,
video, data, and internet channels to North America, Caribbean,
and Europe after parking over 58 deg-W longitude.
2000-042A Mightsat 2.1
(meaning first flight of the series-2 version) is an
American military minispacecraft to test/demonstrate components
for future utilization. It was launched by a Minotaur rocket from
Cape Canaveral at 20:09 UT. The 130 kg spacecraft carries two kinds
of hardware for tests. In the list of “unproven technologies” are
SAC which focuses solar energy on solar cells; NSX that is an
ultra-light weight communications unit; and MFCBS that contains a
multifunctional composite bus structure. In the list of “stand
alone experiments” is FTHSI that provides hyperspectral images
through Fourier Transform technique; QS40 that monitors radiation
damages in microelectronic components; SMATTE to investigate the
bimodal behavior of composite sheets that change physical
properties such as stiffness by tailored thermal inputs but can
recover to the original status after heating above a transition
temperature; and SAFI that carries embedded copper wires in a
composite film to help reduce weight of components. Initial
orbital parameters were
2000-041A, 2000-041B Cluster 2/FM7 and Cluster 2/FM6
are the first two of a four-
spacecraft European (ESA) mission that were launched by a Soyuz-
Fregat rocket from Baikonur at 12:39 UT. Each of the cylindrical
(3-m diameter, 1.3-m height), 1,200 kg (with fuel), and 224 W
spacecraft carries 11 identical instruments to probe the
magnetosphere. All four spacecraft of the Cluster 2 mission have
identical design and payload, and were designed to emulate the
clusters that perished during the failed maiden launch of Ariane 5
on 4 June 1996. The instruments/experiments on board are: 1)
Fluxgate Magnetometer (FGM) to provide magnetic field components;
2) Electron Drift Instrument (EDI) to enable inference of electric
field vector in the vicinity by recapturing the emissions from an
electron gun; 3) Active Spacecraft POtential Control experiment
(ASPOC) in which positive indium ions are shot in order to
neutralize the build-up of positive charges on a spacecraft; 4)
Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Field Fluctuation experiment (STAFF) to
do in situ analysis of the fluctuations in the magnetic field; 5)
Electric Field and Wave experiment (EFW) to measure the electric
field and plasma density fluctuations; 6) Digital Wave Processing
experiment (DWP) to enable in situ correlations of waves and plasma
density; 7) Waves of HIgh frequency and Sounder for Probing
Electron density by Relaxation experiment (WHISPER) which excites
local plasma oscillations synchronous with the pulsed radio
emissions; 8) Wide Band Data instrument (WBD) which monitors the B-
and E-fields of natural VLF emissions such as whistlers; 9) Plasma
Electron And Current Experiment (PEACE) which enables 3-D
distribution function of cold and hot electrons; 10) Cluster Ion
Spectroscopy experiment (CIS) to monitor the charge, mass, and
distribution function of hot and cold ions; and 11) Research with
Adaptive Particle Imaging Detectors (RAPID) to monitor the arrival
direction of very high energy electrons and ions, and their
energies. For more details, see and its links.
These spacecraft will be frequently maneuvered to enable orbits
that provide from time to time the sought-after parameters, mostly
with a perigee at around 19,000 km and an apogee at around 119,000
km. (One of the ESA Web sites provides alternative names of
Samba for the FM7 and Salsa for the FM6; Rumba for FM5, and
Tango for FM8, both to be launched soon. It may be that at the
scientists level the names will descend down to Cluster 1 and
Cluster 2 for the current ones, and Cluster 3 and Cluster 4 for
the to-be launched spacecraft.) Initial orbital parameters of
both were period 620 min, apogee 35,000 km, perigee 247 km, and
inclination 65 deg.
2000-040A Navstar 48
(USA 151) is an American navigational satellite in the
GPS constellation that was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Cape
Canaveral at 09:17 UT. The total number in the fleet is now 29,
including five spares. For more details of the GPS constellation,
see section C-2. Initial orbital parameters were period 358 min,
apogee 20,456 km, perigee 167 km, and inclination 39 deg.
Note: There have been a few revisions of the IDs and Catolog numbers
of the following three spacecraft. A most recent update from
USSPACECOM, presumably subject to further confirmations, catalogs
Bird-Rubin as 2000-039A (26404), with CHAMP and MITA-O combined in
2000-039B (26405), and the rocket body as 2000-039C (26406). The eventual
list will appear in SPX 562.
2000-039C Bird-Rubin
is a German microsatellite that was launched by a
Kosmos-3M rocket from Plesetsk at 12:00 UT. The 37 kilogram
microsatellite carries components for testing in the space
environment; it remained attached to the rocket, intentionally or
otherwise. Initial orbital parameters were period 93.5 min, apogee
476 km, perigee 416 km, and inclination 87.3 deg.
2000-039B CHAMP
(CHAllenging Minisatellite Payload) is a is German
environmental research minispacecraft that carries instruments for
collecting geophysical, oceanographic, and meteorological data. The
500 kg, triaxially stabilized spacecraft was launched by a Kosmos-
3M rocket from Plesetsk at 12:00 UT, along with two other
satellites. Initial orbital parameters were period 93.5 min,
apogee 476 km, perigee 416 km, and inclination 87.3 deg.
2000-039A MITA-O
is an Italian experimental minisatellite that was launched
by a Kosmos-3M rocket from Plesetsk at 12:00 UT, along with two
other satellites. (MITA is an Italian acronym: M for Minisatellite,
I for Italy, T for Technology, and A for Advanced, all in Italian
equivalents.) The 170 kg spacecraft carries instruments to
monitor cosmic rays and Earth’s magnetic field; the package has
been named NINA, and some reports carry this name as an alternative
spacecraft name. The initial orbital parameters were period 93.6
min, apogee 476 km, perigee 422 km, and inclination 87.3 deg.
2000-038A Echostar 6
is an American geosynchronous communications spacecraft
that was launched by an Atlas 2AS rocket from Cape Canaveral at
05:21 UT. It carries about 16 transponders in Ku-band to provide
many voice and video channels direct-to-home in North America,
after first parking over 148 deg-W longitude and then moving it to
119 deg-W after FCC approval.
2000-037A Zvezda
(meaning Star) is a Russian “service module” that was
launched to dock with the International Space Station ISS by a
Proton-K rocket from Baikonur at 04:56 UT. It is to be a primary
and vital component of ISS at least during its construction phase,
providing life-support function and electrical power for all other
modules, enabling command and control, and providing residential
quarters for the working crew. The 20 tonne module has three
docking hatches and 14 windows; it was once being built as a
replacement for the aging MIR. It carries about four thousand
instruments and machinary units, compared to 1,500 in ZARYA and 235
in UNITY. It docked with the ZARYA module automatically at 01:45 UT
on 26 July. The first construction crew of three is expected to
reach the ISS on a Soyuz craft on 30 October 2000. Currently, the
vision, mission, and goal of ISS remain as its successful
construction by 2005. Initial orbital parameters were period 90.9
min, apogee 352 km, perigee 285 km, and inclination 51.6 deg.
2000-036A Cosmos 2371
is a Russian geosynchronous military surveillance and
communications spacecraft that was launched by a Proton-K rocket
from Baikonur at 23:44 UT.

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.

    The latest addition to the GPS fleet is Navstar 48 (USA 151).

  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)
    1997-035C (24878) R/B Delta 2                        23 Jul
    1974-095E (09530) R/B Thorad/Delta 1                 18 Jul
    2000-041C (26412) R/B Fregat                         17 Jul
    2000-037B (26401) R/B Proton-K                       17 jul
    1990-061F (20698) R/B that launched KOSMOS 2085      16 Jul
    1994-050G (23209) R/B Proton-K                       10 Jul
    2000-036B (26395) R/B Proton-K                       07 Jul
    1989-094B (20339) R/B that launched MOLNIYA 3-36     04 Jul
    1990-112f (21025) R/B that launched RADUGA 26        02 Jul
    2000-035B (26391) R/B Proton-K                       01 Jul

  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.)

    USSPACECOM has corrected the name of 2000-025A is Navstar 47 (not Navstar 51).

  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.