SPACEWARN Bulletin Number 527


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

01 October 1997

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 25 August 1997 and 30 September 1997.

A. List of New International Designations and Launch Dates.

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.
1997-057A (24971) IRS 1D       29 Sep      1997-051E (24948) IRIDIUM 31 14 Sep
1997-056E (24969) IRIDIUM 34   27 Sep      1997-051D (24947) IRIDIUM 30 14 Sep
1997-056D (24968) IRIDIUM 35   27 Sep      1997-051C (24946) IRIDIUM 29 14 Sep
1997-056C (24967) IRIDIUM 36   27 Sep      1997-051B (24945) IRIDIUM 28 14 Sep
1997-056B (24966) IRIDIUM 37   27 Sep      1997-051A (24944) IRIDIUM 27 14 Sep
1997-056A (24965) IRIDIUM 19   27 Sep      1997-050A (24936) GE 3       04 Sep
1997-055A (24964) STS 86       26 Sep      1997-049B (24932) METEOSAT 7 02 Sep
1997-054A (24960) Molniya 1-90 24 Sep      1997-049A (24931) HOT BIRD 3 02 Sep
1997-053A (24957) INTELSAT 803 23 Sep      1997-048B (24926) Dummy S2   01 Sep
1997-052B (24954) FAISAT 2V    23 Sep      1997-048A (24925) Dummy S1   01 Sep
1997-052A (24953) Cosmos 2346  23 Sep      1997-047A (24920) FORTE      29 Aug
1997-051G (24950) IRIDIUM 33   14 Sep      1997-046A (24916) PANAMSAT 5 28 Aug
1997-051F (24949) IRIDIUM 32   14 Sep      1997-045A (24912) ACE        25 Aug

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

1997-057A
IRS 1D is an Indian remote sensing Sun-synchronous orbiter that was launched by a PSLV-1C (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) rocket from Shriharikota (in southeast India) at 04:47 UT. (The 44.4 meter, four-stage, 468 tonne PSLV-1C complex is now an operational vehicle, after earlier test launches.) It is the fourth of the IRS series. The 1,200 kg orbiter carries three main instruments: a panchromatic camera (PAN), a linear imaging self-scanner (LISS-3), and a wide field sensor (WIFS). PAN has reflective optics and the other have two refractive optics. The color imagery will have a resolution of 23.5 meters and the black and white, 5 meters. An on-board tape recorder stores data over unreachable intervals. Sensed data on Indian and foreign terrains will be sold through an American company (after the usual clearance by Indian military). Orbit maneuvers may be planned to raise the perigee. Initial orbital parameters were period 95.9 min, apogee 803 km, perigee 288 km, and inclination 98.6 deg.

1997-056E, 1997-056D, 1997-056C, 1997-056B, 1997-056A
IRIDIUM 34, 35, 36, 37, and 19 are five American satellites that joined the IRIDIUM fleet; they were launched by a Delta-2 rocket from Vandenberg AFB. They enable voice communications between mobile telephones beyond the reach of cellular zones. Initial orbital parameters of all five were similar: period 95.7 km, apogee 559 km, perigee 542 km, and inclination 86.7 deg.

1997-055A
STS 86 is an American Shuttle spacecraft that was launched from Cape Canaveral at 02:30 UT. The main mission was to haul equipment and supplies to the troubled Mir space station: 700 kg of water, 500 kg of American science equipment, and 2,000 kg of Russian supplies and hardware. It was also to haul back to Earth 700 kg of American research output and 500 kg of trashed Russian equipments. On board was an American astronaut required to spend several months in Mir to strengthen his endurance. The current American astronaut on Mir will be returned to Earth. It docked with Mir on the 27 September at 19:58 UT. Initial orbital element were period 92.2 min, apogee 392 km, perigee 370 km, and inclination 51.6 deg.

1997-054A
Molniya 1-90 is a Russian communications spacecraft that was launched from Plesetsk by a Molniya-M rocket at 21:31 UT. It will provide voice and video communications to the far-north Russia. Initial orbital parameters were period 718 min, apogee 39,915 km, perigee 451 km, and inclination 62.9 deg.

1997-053A
INTELSAT 803 is a geosynchronous communications spacecraft of that consortium that was launched by an Ariane 4 rocket from Kourou. The 3,455 kg satellite carries six Ku-band transponders to provide voice and video communications after parking at 175-E longitude.

1997-052B
FAISAT 2V is an American (civilian or military) communications spacecraft that was launched by a Kosmos-3M rocket from Plesetsk at 16:44 UT (along with Cosmos 2346). Its main mission is to look for and warn of natural disasters on land and sea and aid rescue efforts. Initial orbital parameters were period 104.4 min, apogee 1,012 km, perigee 956 km, and inclination 82.9 deg.

1997-052A
Cosmos 2346 is a Russian military spacecraft that was launched by a Kosmos-3M rocket from Plesetsk at 16:44 UT. Initial orbital parameters were period 104.4 min, apogee 1,015 km, perigee 953 km, and inclination 82.9 deg.

1997-051G, 1997-056F, 1997-056E, 1997-056D, 1997-056C, 1997-056B, 1997-056A
IRIDIUM 33, 32, 31, 30, 29, 28, and 27 are American communications spacecraft that were launched by a Proton-K rocket from Baykonur. They joined the current fleet of IRIDIUMs to provide voice communications between mobile telephones. Initial orbital parameters of all seven were similar: period 94.9 min, apogee 541 km, perigee 522 km, and inclination 86.6 deg.

1997-050A
GE 3 is an American geosynchronous communication spacecraft that was launched from Cape Canaveral by an Atlas 2AS rocket. It carries 24 C-band transponders to provide voice and video communications to North America after parking at 127-W longitude.

1997-049B
METEOSAT 7 is a European geosynchronous weather satellite that was launched by an Arianne 4 rocket from Kourou. The 3,455 kg spacecraft will provide cloud cover and other weather-related data over western Europe.

1997-049A
HOT BIRD 3 is a European geosynchronous direct-TV spacecraft that was launched to provide voice and video communications to Europe after parking at 13-E longitude. It was launched by an Ariane 4 rocket from Kourou and carries 18 Ku-band transponders.

1997-048B
Dummy S2 is one of two dummies simulating IRIDIUM spacecraft. They were launched by a (newly developed) Long March 2-3 rocket from the new Taiyuan launch center. The goal was to offer the Long March 2-3 as potential carrier for future launches of IRIDIUMs. Initial orbital parameters were period 97.2 min, apogee 634 km, perigee 623 km, and inclination 86.3 deg.

1997-048A
Dummy S1 is one of two dummies simulating IRIDIUM spacecraft. They were launched by a (newly developed) Long March 2-3 rocket from the new Taiyuan launch center. The goal was to offer the Long March 2-3 as a potential carrier for future launches of IRIDIUMs. Initial orbital parameters were period 93 min, apogee 622 km, perigee 231 km, and inclination 86.2 deg.

1997-047A
FORTE (Fast On-orbit Recording of Transcient Events) is an American military spacecraft that was launched by a Pegasus XL rocket from an airplane flying out of Vandenberg AFB. Its primary mission is to keep track of violations of nuclear test ban treaties by the signatories and others. Initial orbital parameters were period 101.2 min, apogee 833 km, perigee 799 km, and inclination 70.0 deg.

1997-046A
PANAMSAT 5 is an American geosynchronous communications spacecraft that was launched by a Proton-K rocket from Baykonur at 00:33 UT. It will provide direct-TV to South American and Caribbean countries through its 24 C-band transponders after parking at 58-W longitude.

1997-045A
ACE (Advanced Composition Explorer) is an American space physics spacecraft that was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 14:39 UT. After a few low earth orbits the 596 kg, 464 W spacecraft will be maneuvered many times to reach the first Lagrangian point (L-1) located at about 1.5 million km in the sunward direction. It carries nine instruments to monitor the magnetic field, solar wind electrons and ions, and the more energetic cosmic ray ions; more details are available at http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/database/MasterCatalog?sc=1997-045A. Initial orbital parameters were period 1,398 hr, apogee 1,256,768 km, perigee 179 km and inclination 28.7 deg.

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:    igscb.jpl.nasa.gov  [directory /igscb]
         WWW:    http://igscb.jpl.nasa.gov/
         E-mail: igscb@cobra.jpl.nasa.gov
    

    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 http://www.utexas.edu/depts/grg/gcraft/notes/gps/gps.html#DODSystem It provides many links to GPS related databases.

    The latest member of the GPS fleet is NAVSTAR 43 (1997-035A), launched on 23 July 1997.

  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: http://www.rssi.ru/SFCSIC/glonass.html 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
    
    1997-024A (24805) COSMOS 2343                         18 Sep
    1997-051H (24951) R/B PROTON-K                        14 Sep
    1989-100A (20389) COSMOS 2053                         02 Sep
    1995-052A (23676) COSMOS 2321                         21 Aug
    

  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 (request@nssdca.gsfc.nasa.gov). 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:
    http://sscop1.gsfc.nasa.gov/ssc.html

    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:
    http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/space/helios/heli.html

    Magnetospheric, Planetary, and Astronomical science data from many spacecraft may be accessed through links from the URL:
    http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/


SPACEWARN Bulletin Index
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Questions/comments about the content of these pages should be directed to:
The World Warning Agency for Satellites, wwas@nssdca.gsfc.nasa.gov
National Space Science Data Center, Mail Code 633
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771

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

NASA Official: J. H. King, joe.king@gsfc.nasa.gov
V1.0: 03 October 1997
Last updated: 05 March 2003, EVB II