SPACEWARN Bulletin Number 542

01 January 1999
A publication of NASA's National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center-A for Rockets and Satellites as the WWAS for ISES/COSPAR

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 01 December 1998 and 31 December 1998.

A. List of New International Designations and Launch Dates.

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.
            1998-077C (25595) Cosmos 2364      30 DEC
            1998-077B (25594) Cosmos 2363      30 DEC
            1998-077A (25593) Cosmos 2362      30 DEC
            1998-076A (25590) Cosmos 2361      24 DEC
            1998-075A (25585) PAS 6B           22 DEC
            1998-074B (25578) Iridium 20A      19 DEC
            1998-074A (25577) Iridium 11A      19 DEC
            1998-073A (25571) MCO              11 DEC
            1998-072B (25568) Astrid 2         10 DEC
            1998-072A (25567) Nadezhda 5       10 DEC
            1998-071A (25560) SWAS             06 DEC
            1998-070A (25558) SATMEX 5         06 DEC
            1998-069F (25575) ISS-Unity        13 DEC (Released from STS 88)
            1998-069C (25551) Mightysat 1      15 DEC       "
            1998-069B (25550) SAC-A            14 DEC       "
            1998-069A (25549) STS 88           04 DEC

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

1998-077A, 1998-077B, 1998-077C Cosmos 2362, Cosmos 2363, and Cosmos 2364 are the latest members of the Russian navigational fleet of GLONASS satellites that were launched by a Proton-K rocket from Baykonur at 18:35 UT. The GLONASS fleet is planned to consist of 24 spacecraft in different planes, 18 of which are now operational. Recently, the GLONASS fleet has been declared as dual-use: military and civilian, similar to the American GPS fleet. Initial (circular) orbit parameters of the three were period 11 hr:14 min, altitude 19,122 km, and inclination 64.8 deg.
1998-076A Cosmos 2361 is a Russian military spacecraft that was launched by a Cosmos 3M rocket from Plesetsk at 20:02 UT. Initial orbital parameters were period 104.9 min, apogee 1,017 km, perigee 988 km, and inclination 82.9 deg.
1998-075A PAS 6B (PanAmSat 6B) is an American geosynchronous communications spacecraft that was launched by an Ariane rocket from Kourou. It carries 36 Ku-band transponders to provide voice and video communications after parking over 43 deg-W longitude.
1998-074A, 1998-074B Iridium 11A and Iridium 20A are two more of the (International) Iridium fleet of Low Earth Orbit (LEO) spacecraft that enable voice and data links between phones in remote areas. They were launched by a Long March 2C rocket from Taiyuan center in Northern China's Shanxi province. Initial orbital parameters were period 97.6 min, apogee 647 km, perigee 630 km, and inclination 86.4 deg.
1998-073A MCO (Mars Climate Orbiter) is an American planetary exploration spacecraft that was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 18:45 UT. The 643 kg spacecraft will travel 9.5 months to reach and orbit Mars. It underwent a trajectory correction maneuver on 21 December. Upon approaching Mars, hydrazine thrusters will enable aerobraking for about 65 days toward attaining the mapping phase by January 2000. The mapping phase, with a periapsis of 160 km, will utilize the two nadir cameras, PMIRR (Pressure Modulator Infrared Radiometer) and MARCI (Mars Color Imager). This mission will end after one full Martian year (687 Earth days) whereupon MCO will be maneuvered to a higher orbit to function for three years as just a relaying station for future Mars missions.
1998-072B Astrid 2 is a Swedish science spacecraft that was launched (along with Nadezhda 5) by a Cosmos (-3M?) rocket from Plesetsk at 11:57 UT. It carries an electron spectrometer, a magnetometer and an UV imager, all of interest to auroral research. Initial orbital parameters were period 105 min, apogee 1,013 km, perigee 978 km, and inclination 83 deg.
1998-072A Nadezhda 5 is a Russian navigational (search/rescue) spacecraft that was launched by a Cosmos (-3M?) rocket from Plesetsk at 11:57 UT. It is part of the Russian fleet of "Kospas-Sarsat System" to search for ships and aircraft in distress, and to enable rescue missions. Initial orbital parameters were period 105 min, apogee 1,016 km, perigee 981 km, and inclination 82.8 deg.
1998-071A SWAS (Submillimeter Wave Astronomy Satellite) is a an American astrophysical spacecraft that was launched by a Pegasus-XL rocket released from a L-1011 cargo plane flying out of Vandenberg AFB. The 300 kg cryogenic satellite carries two submillimeter heterodyne detectors, an acousto-optical spectrometer, and a star tracker assembly to detect emissions from water vapor, molecular oxygen, isotopic carbon monoxide, and atomic carbon, all indicative of star-forming intersteller clouds. More information is available thru the URL, The initial orbital parameters were period 97.6 min, apogee 651 km, perigee 638 km, and inclination 69.9 deg.
1998-070A SATMEX 5 is a Mexican geosynchronous communications spacecraft that was launched by an Ariane 44L rocket from Kourou at 00:42 UT. The 4.2 tonne spacecraft will provide Spanish language voice and video communications to a large area between Canada and Patagonia.
1998-069F ISS-Unity is an American module of the International Space Station (ISS). (The ID, 1998-067A is and will remain the ID for ISS as well as for its first module,ISS-Zarya; subsequent modules also will likely carry their own IDs and USSPACECOM numbers, though the two-line orbital elements for the composite will remain listed only under Zarya, 25544.) The module is an aluminum hexagon of about 5 m (diameter) x 6 m (length). Including the docking ports, the length of the 11.6 tonne module is about 12 m. It carries its own communications equipments and has room to house science-interest instruments and astronauts in the future. It was joined to ISS-Zarya after many hours of extravehicular activities and they were together released for free flight on 13 December 1998. (See more details under STS 88.) The initial orbital parameters of the ISS (Zarya + Unity) were approximately period 93 min, apogee 410 km, perigee 390 km, and inclination 51.6 deg.
1998-069C Mightysat 1 is a American minisatellite that was ejected from STS 88 on 15 December 1998. The 320 kg satellite carried equipments for five advanced technology demonstrations/tests: a new/improved Advanced Composition (spacecraft) Structure, a new solar cell with Gallium Indium Phosphide layer on a Gallium Arsenide layer, a "MAPLE" experiment to test advanced microelectronic packaging, a "SMARD" payload to enable/test low-shock ejection devices, and a "MPID" package to provide "indications" of natural and man-made space debris. For further details see, The initial orbital parameters were period 92.4 min, apogee 401 km, perigee 388 km, and inclination 51.6 deg.
1998-069B SAC-A is an Argentine minisatellite that was ejected from STS 88 on 14 December '98. The 268 kg satellite carried a GPS receiver, a magnetometer, and a CCD camera for whale tracking and other photographic observations. Additional descriptions/status are available through the URL, Initial orbital parameters of the spacecraft were period 92.4 min, apogee 401 km, perigee 388 km, and inclination 51.6 deg.
1998-069A STS 88 is an American shuttle spacecraft that was launched from Cape Canaveral at 08:36 UT. It carried the ISS-Unity (also known as Node 1) module, two minisatellites (SAC-A and Mightysat 1) for a later day ejection, and some other experimental items of interest to K-14 level students. The shuttle crew (of six) hoisted the Unity module over the open cargo bay on 5 December and positioned it perpendicular to the shuttle; thrusters were then fired to black flip the shuttle and reach ISS-Zarya within 3 meters when the robotic arm of the shuttle captured Zarya (that was below STS) on 6 December. Zarya's and Unity's ports were then aligned with a separation of only a few centimeters when the shuttle's thrusters fired again to dovetail them tight. After several days of extravehicular activities (EVAs) to secure the joints, and interconnect the power lines and computer links and, after raising the shuttle's altitude by about 10 km, the joined modules were released from the shuttle for free flight on 13 December '98. It landed back at Cape Canaveral at 03:53 UT on 16 December 1998. Greater details of the mission may be seen in, and Initial orbital parameters of STS 88 were period 92.4 min, apogee 401 km, perigee 388 km, and inclination 51.6 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.

    Mr. Geof Perry MBE has kindly submitted the following message including his updated list of Russian spacecraft of interest to this section:

      It is some time since I informed you of the current status of the Russian military (Parus) and civil (Tsikada/Nadezhda) LEO navsat constellations -- the reason being the numerous changes that have occurred with satellites being 'off' and then coming back 'on' again, very old satellites being revived to replace failing newer ones, etc.

      The attached file is based on monitoring of signals on 1 January and in Chris Wood's downloading and deciphering of the telemetry on 30 December. The file was written in WordPerfect 5.1.

      I would suggest that the file is reproduced in its entirety and that all previous entries for the Russian systems are deleted from the SPX reports.

      With best wishes for 1999,


      Geoff Perry MBE Chris Wood The Kettering Group

      Designations          Epoch, Frequency,          Remarks
                            and Inclination
      1991019A (21152)      18 December 1998     [Plane #12]
      NADEZHDA 3             150 MHz
                             400 MHz
                             Inclination: 82.924 deg 
      1991029A (21230)      20 December 1998     [INACTIVE since 8 July 1998?
      COSMOS 2142            150.03 MHz           Replaced by COSMOS 2233
      COSMOS                 400.08 MHz           in plane #5 on 30-12-'98]
                             Inclination: 82.958 deg    
      1991059A (21666)      19 December 1998     [Reactivated to replace 1992-073A,
      COSMOS 2154            149.94 MHz           COSMOS 2218 in plane #3 on 18
                             399.84 MHz           February 1998.]
                             Inclination: 82.906 deg
      1994024A (23092)      18 December 1998     [Plane #6. Not transmitting although
      COSMOS 2279            149.94 MHz           still included in data from other
                             399.84 MHz           members of the constellation.]
                             Inclination: 82.950 deg 
      1994041A (23179)      19 December 1998     [INACTIVE. Replaced by NADEZHDA 5
      NADEZHDA 4             150.00 MHz           in plane #14 on 23 December '98.]
                             400.00 MHz
                             Inclination: 82.947 deg
      1995002A (23463)      18 December 1998     [Plane #13]
      TSIKADA                150 MHz
                             400 MHz
                             Inclination: 82.928 deg
      1995012A (23526)      18 December 1998     [INACTIVE. Replaced by COSMOS 2341
      COSMOS 2310            149.91 MHz           in plane #2 on 23 April 1997.]
                             399.76 MHz
                             Inclination: 82.939 deg
      1995032A (23603)      19 December 1998      [Plane #11]
      COSMOS 2315            150.00 MHz
                             400.00 MHz
                             Inclination: 82.903 deg
      1996052A (24304)      19 December 1998      [INACTIVE. Replaced by COSMOS 2346
      COSMOS 2334            150.03 MHz            in plane #1 on 1 October 1997.]
                             400.08 MHz
                             Inclination 82.925 deg
      1996071A (24677)      18 December 1998    [Plane #4]
      COSMOS 2336            149.97 MHz
                             399.92 MHz
                             Inclination: 82.942 deg
      1997017A (24772)      18 December 1998     [Plane #2]
      COSMOS 2344            149.91 MHz
                             399.76 MHz
                             Inclination: 82.920 deg
      1997052A (24953)      17 December 1998     [Plane #1]
      COSMOS 2346            150.03 MHz
                             400.08 MHz
                             Inclination 82.919 deg
      1998072A (25567)      10 December 1998    [Plane #14]
      NADEZHDA 5             150.00 MHz
                             400.00 MHz
                             Inclination: 82.949 deg
      1998076A (25590)      24 December 1998     [Plane #5]
      COSMOS 2361            150.03 MHz
                             400.08 MHz
                             Inclination: 82.934 deg

  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 member of the GPS fleet is NAVSTAR 38 (1997-067A), launched on 6 November 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: maintained by the Coordinational Scientific Information Center (CSIC),Russian Space Forces.

    The latest addition to the GLONASS fleet are,

              1998-077A (25593) COSMOS 2362   Launched on 30 December 1998
              1998-077B (25594) COSMOS 2363         "       "
              1998-077C (25595) COSMOS 2364         "       "

  4. Actual decays/landings of payload spacecraft and rocket bodies (R/B) only. Additional information is not available.
    Designations         Common Name                       1998
    1996-069A   (24670)  COSMOS 2335                      01 Jan (1999)
    1998-077D   (25596)  R/B Proton-K                     31 Dec
    1998-073B   (25572)  R/B Delta 2                      30 Dec
    1997-084J   (25120)  R/B Pegasus                      28 Dec
    1998-025E   (25499)  R/B Proton-K                     19 Dec 
    1993-077B   (22928)  Atlas 2AS                        17 Dec
    1998-069A   (25549)  STS 88             Landed on     16 Dec
    1975-100C   (08368)  R/B Delta 1                      06 Dec

  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 X-ray satellite, AXAF has been named Chandra X-ray Observatory. It will be launched in April 1999 from STS 93.

    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 trajectories 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:
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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, 12 January 1999
Last updated: 12 February 1999, EVB II