SPACEWARN Bulletin Number 524

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 June 1997

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 25 May 1997 and 24 June 1997.

A. List of New International Designations and Launch Dates.

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.
1997-030A (24836) IRIDIUM 14 18 Jun      1997-030G (24842) IRIDIUM 11   18 Jun
1997-030B (24837) IRIDIUM 12 18 Jun      1997-029A (24834) Fengyun 2    10 Jun
1997-030C (24838) IRIDIUM 10 18 Jun      1997-028A (24827) Cosmos 2344   6 Jun
1997-030D (24839) IRIDIUM  9 18 Jun      1997-027B (24820) INSAT 2D      3 Jun
1997-030E (24840) IRIDIUM 13 18 Jun      1997-027A (24819) INMARSAT 3-F4 3 Jun
1997-030F (24841) IRIDIUM 16 18 Jun      1997-026A (24812) TELSTAR 5    24 May

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

1997-030A, 1997-030B, 1997-030C, 1997-030D, 1997-030E, 1997-030F, 1997-030G
IRIDIUM 14, IRIDIUM 12, IRIDIUM 10, IRIDIUM 9, IRIDIUM 13, IRIDIUM 16, and IRIDIUM 11 are American low altitude communications spacecraft. They were designed for linking mobile telephone communications around the world. These seven, 650 kg spacecraft were launched by a Proton-K rocket with a DM-2M booster stage from Baykonur cosmodrome at 14:03 UT. Initial orbital parameters of all were similar: period 95 min, apogee 516 km, perigee 498 km, and inclination 86.4 deg.

Fengyun 2 is a PRC geosynchronous meteorological spacecraft that was launched by a Long March 3 rocket from Xichang launch station at 12:01 UT. The 1,380 kg spacecraft carries a scanning radiometer and a cloud cover mapper and was parked at 105-E longitude to cover 100 million square-km centered on China.

Cosmos 2344 is a Russian military reconnaissance spacecraft that was launched by a Proton-K rocket from Baykonur cosmodrome at 16:57 UT. According to a Moscow daily Kommersant this may be the same satellite that was code named 11F66 in 1984, but whose completion had been repeatedly delayed. The booster stage, DM-2M used in the launch is expected to be used in several more imminent commercial launches. Initial orbital parameters were period 130.1 min, apogee 2,748 km, perigee 1,509 km, and inclination 63.4 deg.

INSAT 2D is an Indian geosynchronous communications spacecraft that was launched by an Ariane 44L rocket from Kourou in French Guiana at 23:21 UT. The 2,079 kg spacecraft carries a total of 23 transponders in the C- and Ku-Bands to provide voice and video communications to the countries in the west, south, and southeast Asia. The parking longitude is likely to be 74-E or 93-E longitude.

INMARSAT 3-F4 is a geosynchronous communications spacecraft of that international consortium that was launched by an Ariane 44L rocket from French Guiana at 23:21 UT. The 2,400 kg spacecraft carries transponders to enable communications among mobile vehicles, ships, and planes in the Atlantic region after parking at 45-E longitude.

TELSTAR 5 is an American geosynchronous spacecraft that was launched by a Proton-K rocket from Baykonur cosmodrome at 17:00 UT. The 3,600 kg spacecraft carries 24 C-band and 28 Ku-band transponders to provide voice and video communications after parking at 97-W 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.

    The last full list appeared as a part of SPX 520. The list will reappear only after major updates to the list are available.

  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.

  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 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-515. 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. Additional information is not available.
    Designations       Common Name                         1997
    1997-015B (24762) R/B Molniya-M                      15 Jun
    1997-028B (24828) R/B Proton-K                       07 Jun
    1997-026B (24813) R/B Proton-K                       01 Jun
    1997-023A (24804) STS 84      Landed on              24 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.)

    The Mir space station suffered damage when Progress M-34 cargocraft collided with it on 25 June 1997 while attempting an automatic docking maneuver; repair and salvage operations are underway.

    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:

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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: 02 July 1997
Last Updated: 11 July 1997, EVB II