SPACEWARN Bulletin Number 513

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

25 July 1996

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 25 June 1996 and 24 July 1996.

A. List of New International Designations and Launch Dates.

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.
1996-041A (23953) USA 126             16 Jul
1996-040B (23949) TURKSAT 1C          09 Jul
1996-040A (23948) ARABSAT 2A          09 Jul
1996-039A (23943) APSTAR 1A           03 Jul
1996-038A (23945) USA 125             03 Jul
1996-037A (23940) TOMS-EP             02 Jul
1996-029F (23937) USA 124             12 May
1996-029E (23936) USA 123             12 May

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

USA 126 is the latest member of the American constellation of GPS spacecraft and was launched from Cape Canaveral by a Delta-2 rocket. It will replace an aging member of the constellation. Initial orbital parameters were period 723.6 min, apogee 20,365 km, perigee 20,272 km, and inclination 55.03 deg. The constellation is detailed in section C-2 below.

TURKSAT 1C is a Turkish geosynchronous communications spacecraft that was launched by an Ariane 44L rocket from Kourou in French Guiana at 22:30 UT. After parking at 42 deg E, the 2,100 kg spacecraft will provide radio and TV communications to Turkey and neighboring countries.

ARABSAT 2A is a geosynchronous communications spacecraft of the 21-nation consortium and was launched by an Ariane 44L rocket from Kourou in French Guiana at 22:30 UT. The 2,100 kg spacecraft will provide radio and TV communications to the Middle East and neighboring countries.

APSTAR 1A is a geosynchronous communications spacecraft that was launched by a Long March 3 rocket from Xichang center in south- eastern China. After parking at 134 deg E, the 2,800 kg spacecraft will provide TV coverage to the Asian-Pacific countries through its 24 C-band transponders.

USA 125 is an American military surveillance spacecraft that was launched by a Titan 4 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Station at 00:30 UT.

TOMS-EP (Total Ozone Mapping Spectrometer-Earth Probe; also known as TOMS-EP96) is an American Earth science spacecraft that was launched by a Pegasus XL rocket from an L-1011 airplane over southern California at 00:48 UT. The 248 kg (fuel-free) and 103 W spacecraft carries a single instrument: a modified Ebert-Fastie polychromator with fixed exit slits at six near-UV wavelengths, which will monitor and store full-orbit data and downlink them over one or two ground stations. It is reported to be experiencing attitude control problems. The initial parameters of the circular, Sun-synchronous orbit were period 97.6 min, altitude 500 km, and inclination 97.4 deg.

1996-029F, 1996-029E
USA 124, and USA 123 are American military spacecraft. The others by the same launcher, 1996-029A, B, C, and D were reported in SPX-511 and SPX-512.

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 orbits in six distinct planes that are about 60 deg apart. Each plane has five "slots." Following are the 2-NN members in the planes/slots. The RAAN decreases or increases by about 1.0 deg each month; below are their approximate RAAN longitudes in July 1996.

    PLANE    RAAN OF PLANE SLOT-1     SLOT-2      SLOT-3      SLOT-4  SLOT-5
      A           226       2-21       2-12        2-15        2-04
      B           286       2-18       2-07        2-02        2-22
      C           348       2-24       2-25        2-19        2-20   2-13
      D            51       2-11       2-09        2-05        2-23
      E           108       2-01       2-08        2-03        2-10   2-26?
      F           167       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
    1996-036A (23931)  STS 78    Landed on           07 Jul
    1995-001B (23462)  R/B Atlas 2AS                 27 Jun
  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.)

    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 ( 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 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:

    Magnetospheric, Planetary, and Astronomical science data from many spacecraft may be accessed through links from the URL:

    The List of Bright Objects

    Spacewarn Bulletin thanks Mr. Walter I. Nissen of the National Capital Astronomers for the following list compiled by him on 14 July 1996.

    Objects were observed during 1994-1996 by Walter I. Nissen, Jr., CDP, at latitude 41 N. Mr. Nissan is grateful for assistance from Goddard Space Flight Center, Smithsonian Institution and National Capital Astronomers.

    This list supplements the similar list complied on 7 July 1994, by Mr. Nissen and reported in Spacewarn Bulletin 490. To see the list select here.

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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: 25 July 1996
Last Updated: 31 July 1996, EVB II