SPACEWARN Bulletin Number 508

A publication of NASA's National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center-A for Rockets and Satellites as the WWAS for IUWDS/COSPAR
25 February 1996

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 25 January 1996 and 25 February 1996.

A. List of New International Designations and Launch Dates.

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.
1996-012B (23805) TSS-1R         25 Feb
1996-012A (23801) STS 75         22 Feb
1996-011A (23798) Soyuz TM-23    21 Feb
1996-010A (23794) RADUGA 33      19 Feb
1996-009F (23792) Cosmos 2330    19 Feb
1996-009E (23791) Cosmos 2329    19 Feb
1996-009D (23790) Cosmos 2328    19 Feb
1996-009C (23789) GONETS D1-3    19 Feb
1996-009B (23788) GONETS D1-2    19 Feb
1996-009A (23787) GONETS D1-1    19 Feb
1996-008A (23784) NEAR           17 Feb
1996-007A (23781) N-STAR-B       05 Feb
1996-006A (23779) PALAPA C-1     01 Feb
1996-005A (23775) Gorizont 31    25 Jan

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

TSS-1R is an American/Italian spacecraft that was deployed from STS 75 at the end of a 20 km long braided nylon, copper, and Teflon wire of 2.5 mm thickness at 08:45 UT. It carried instruments for 12 plasma/optics/magnetic field experiments. After extending nearly to its full length of 20 km, the tether broke at the shuttle end, thus rendering all experiments inoperational. Before the tether failure it did verify Faraday's laws of induction by generating 1600 V and 420 mA. The same kind of release was attempted in August 1992, but the tether could not be extended and the spacecrfat stayed in the cargo bay. It is expected that the free-flying TSS-1R, along with its tether, will soon re-enter the atmosphere.

STS 75 is an American shuttle spacecraft that was launched from Cape Canaveral at 20:18 UT. Its main mission was to release and retrieve an American/Italian tethered spacecraft named TSS-1R. It also carried resources for some microgravity experiments. The tether was slowly extended almost to its full length of 20 km on 25 February 1996, but soon broke near the shuttle end, thus making the TSS-1R an unintended free-flyer; TSS-1R along with the tether is expected to decay soon. The shuttle's orbital parameters were period 90.5 min, apogee and perigee 294 km, and inclination 28.5 deg.

Soyuz TM-23 is a Russian transportation spacecraft that was launched from Baykonur at 12:34 UT, carrying two cosmonauts. It docked with the MIR station at 14:24 UT on 23 February 1996. Soon after launch, its orbital parameters were period 88.6 min, apogee 240 km, perigee 202 km, and inclination 51.6 deg.

RADUGA 33 is a Russian communications spacecraft that was launched by a Proton-K rocket from Baykonur and was intended to be geosynchronous; but it turned out to be a failed launch due to the explosion of the fourth stage just prior to the final maneuver. It was launched by a Proton-K rocket from Baykonur.

1996-009D, 1996-009E, 1996-009F
Cosmos 2328, Cosmos 2329, and Cosmos 2330 are Russian military spacecraft that were launched by a Cyclon-3 rocket from Plesetsk cosmodrome along with the three GONETS spacecraft listed below. Initial orbital parameters of all three were approximately the same as those of the GONETS constellation listed below.

1996-009A, 1996-009B, 1996-009C
GONETS D1-1, GONETS D1-2, and GONETS D1-3 are Russian communications/photo-reconnoissance spacecraft that were launched by a Cyclon-3 rocket, along with three COSMOS spacecraft listed above. They will monitor disasters like oil spills and illicit transport of radioactive cargo, and provide prompt alerts. Initial orbital parameters of all three GONETS were approximately the same: period 114 min, apogee and perigee 1415 km, and inclination 82.58 deg.

NEAR (Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous) is a heliocentric orbiter that was launched from Cape Canaveral by a Delta 2 rocket at 20:43 UT. The 818 kg (including 400 kg of fuel) spacecraft is the first member NASA's low-budget, fast-track Discover class, and will orbit around a major asteroid, Eros (with dimensions of 38 km x 13.5 km x 13.5 km) for a year beginning February 1999. Enroute, NEAR will pass by another asteroid, 253-Mathilde in June 1997 at 1,200 km distance, return near Earth for a gravity boosted speed, and then make the final voyage to Eros to orbit as close as 15 km from its surface. It carries an instument to provide infrared images and spectra, an X-ray/gamma-ray spectrometer, a magnetometer, a laser range finder, and a radioscience instrument.

N-STAR-B is a Japanese geosynchronous communications spacecraft that was launched by an Ariane rocket from Kourou in French Guiana at 07:19 UT. The 3,400 kg spacecraft is expected to provide voice and TV broadcasts to Japan and neighbouring regions.

PALAPA C-1 is an Indonesian geosynchronous spacecraft that was launched from Cape Canaveral by an Atlas 2AS rocket at 01:15 UT.It will provide voice and TV communications to the 17,000 islands of Indonesia and the nearby Asia-Pacific region. It carries 24 C-band, six extended C-band, and four Ku-band transponders, most of which have been leased to several countries.

Gorizont is a Russian geosynchronous communications spacecraft was launched by a Proton booster from Baykonur. It carries transponders to enable telephone and television communications to the Russian republic, after parking at 40 E longitude.

C. Spacecraft Particularly Suited for International Participation

Category I
  1. Spacecraft with essentially continuous radio beacons on frequencies less than 150 MHz, or higher frequencies if especially suited for ionospheric or geodetic studies. To see a list select here.
  2. Global Positioning System satellites useful for navigational purposes and geodetic studies. To see a list select here.

    The GPS 2-NN series orbit in six distinct planes that are about 60 deg apart. Each plane has four "slots." Following are the 2-NN members in the planes/slots. The RAAN decreases by about 1.0 deg each month; below are their approximate RAAN longitudes in November 95.

    PLANE    RAAN OF PLANE     SLOT-1     SLOT-2      SLOT-3      SLOT-4
      A           235           2-21       2-12        2-15        2-04
      B           296           2-18       2-07        2-02        2-22
      C           357           2-24       2-13        2-19        2-20
      D            62           2-11       2-09        2-05        2-23
      E           119           2-01       2-08        2-03        2-10
      F           177           2-16       2-14        2-06        2-17
  3. Russian Global Navigational (Positioning) Spacecraft, GLONASS constellation. To see a list select here.

    The GLONASS NNN series orbit in three distinct planes that are 120 deg apart. Each plane has eight "slots". Following are the members of the planes/slots.

       Plane 1              Plane 2              Plane 3
    slot-1   771         slot-9    776/778    slot-17   760
    slot-2   757         slot-10   781        slot-18   758
    slot-3   763         slot-11   785        slot-19   777
    slot-4   762         slot-12   767        slot-20   765
    slot-5   249         slot-13   782        slot-21   756
    slot-6   764         slot-14   770        slot-22   766
    slot-7   759         slot-15   780        slot-23   761
    slot-8   769         slot-16   775        slot-24   774
    Coordinational Scientific Information Center (CSIC) Russian Space Forces
    E-mail: sfcsic@iki3.bitnet;;
    Home page WWW.IKI:

  4. Actual decays/landings of payload spacecraft and rocket bodies (R/B) only. Additional information is not available.
    Designations       Common Name                     1996
    1995-070A (23744)  PROGRESS M-30                  22 Feb
    1996-005B (23776)  R/B SL-12                      29 Jan
    1996-001A (23762)  STS 72       Landed on         20 Jan
    1996-001B (23763)  OAST FLYER   Retrieved on      20 Jan
    1995-011A (23521)  SFU          Retrieved on      20 Jan
  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.)

    Mr. Geoffrey Perry, MBE, of the Kettering Group, Cornwall, England has communicated to us on 18 February 96 the following message about an orbiter he numbers as 1995-000A:

    EXPRESS, a German capsule, procured from Russia's KB Salyut, carrying microgravity experiments and heatshield test samples, intended for recovery after 5.5 days in Woomera, Australia, was launched by a Japanese M-3S II rocket from Uchinoura at 13:45 UT, January 15, 1995. A second stage guidance failure resulted in a very low orbit with an 88 min period, apogee 250 (?) km, perigee 115 (?) km, and inclination 31.2 deg. It was initially assumed to have fallen into the Pacific ocean off the coast of South America. No objects from the launch were catalogued by USSPACECOM. Mr. G. E. Perry, MBE of the Kettering Group, England, published a paper, based on reports in the Ghanaian Times and Ghanaian Chronicle, in the November 1995 issue of the Astronautical Society of Western Australia's News Bulletin suggesting that the "strange object" which had landed at Kotorigu, near Tamale, could be the recoverable capsule which would have passed over Ghana after 2.5 orbits. This paper was brought to the notice of Daimler-Benz Aerospace and DARA whose subsequent enquiries and on the spot investigations confirmed that the object in the hanger at Tamale was indeed the Express capsule. Diplomatic negotiations are in progress to secure the return of the capsule to Germany.

    NSSDC/WDC-A-R&S is an archival center for science data from many spacecraft. Some data are on line for electronic access. Please contact the NSSDC Request Coordination Office, Code 633, NASA/GSFC, Greenbelt, Maryland 20771, U.S.A., for specific information (REQUEST@NSSDCA.GSFC.NASA.GOV). Precomputed trajectory files and orbital parameters of many magnetospheric and heliospheric science-payload spacecraft may be FTP'ed from NSSDC's ANON_DIR:[000000.ACTIVE] and its several subdirectories. (See About the SPACEWARN Bulletin for access method; a file in the ACTIVE directory named AAREADME.DOC, outlines the contents.) It can also be accessed via the WWW at:

    This URL also enables executing several codes related to the orbits of many geocentric science payload spacecraft. The codes related to the heliospheric spacecraft trjectories can be executed through:

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Questions/comments about the content of these pages should be directed to:
The World Warning Agency for Satellites,
National Space Science Data Center, Mail Code 633
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771

Page Curator:
Dr. Edwin V. Bell, II,, +1-301-286-1187
NSSDC, Mail Code 633, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771

NASA Official: J. H. King,
V1.0: 04 March 1996
Last Updated: 18 March 1996, EVB II