SPACEWARN Bulletin Number 547

01 June 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 May 1999 and 31 May 1999.

A. List of New International Designations and Launch Dates.

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.
            1999-030A (25760) STS 96                    27 May 99
            1999-029C (25758) TUBSAT                    26 May 99
            1999-029B (25757) KITSAT 3                  26 May 99
            1999-029A (25756) IRS P4                    26 May 99
            1999-028A (25744) USA 144                   22 May 99
            1999-027A (25740) Nimiq                     20 May 99
            1999-026B (25736) MUBLCOM                   18 May 99
            1999-026A (25735) TERRIERS                  18 May 99
            1999-025B (25731) Shijian 5                 10 May 99
            1999-025A (25730) Fengyun 1C                10 May 99
            1999-024A (25727) ORION 3                   05 May 99

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

1999-030A STS 96 is an American shuttle spacecraft that was launched from Cape Canaveral at 10:49 UT. The main mission is to ferry two tonnes of supplies and spare parts to the ISS space station. The crew will carry out some repair and maintainance work on ISS and install mufflers to reduce the noisy fans in the Zarya module. The crew will also install a Russian crane called Strela on Zarya. The shuttle will boost the ISS to a higher altitude and release a small free-flying sphere named Starshine to encourage students to track it visually. Starshine is a hollow sphere of 48 cm diameter and studded with 878 tiny mirrors which had been polished by school children in Zimbabwe, Pakistan and 16 other countries. Initial orbital parameters of STS 96 were period 91.2 min, apogee 340 km, perigee 326 km, and inclination 51.6 deg.
1999-029C TUBSAT is a 45 kg German remote sensing microsatellite that was launched from Shriharikota by an Indian PSLV-C2 rocket at 06:22 UT. The payload consists of of a triple-lens camera system: a wide angle 16 mm lens with a black & white CCD chip, a standard angle 50 mm lens with color CCD chip, and a 1,000 mm telephoto lens with a black & white CCD chip. The spatial resolutions of the Earth pictures are respectively 370 m, 120 m, and 6 m. Initial orbital parameters were period 99 min, apogee 730 km, perigee 719 km, and inclination 98.4 deg.
1999-029B KITSAT 3 is a South Korean remote sensing minisatellite that was launched from Shriharikota by a PSLV-C2 rocket at 06:22 UT. The 110 kg satellite carries a MEIS (Multispectral Earth Imaging System) and a SENSE (Space ENvironment Scientific Experiment) instrument. The spatial resolution of MEIS is 15 m. SENSE will monitor the temperature and density of ionospheric plasma. Initial orbital parameters of the Sun-synchronous orbit were period 99 min, apogee 730 km, perigee 719 km, and inclination 98.4 deg.
1999-029A IRS P4 (Indian Remote Sensor P4), also known as Oceansat 1, is an remote sensing satellite that was launched by a PSLV-C2 rocket from Shriharikota range in southern India at 06:22 UT. The 1,050 kg satellite carries an OCM (Ocean Color Monitor) and a MSMR (Multi-frequency Scanning Microwave Radiometer) instrument. OCM will monitor globally potential fishery zones, ocean currents, and pollution and sediment inputs in the coastal zones. It operates on eight wavelength bands, providing data with a swath width of 1,420 km and at a resolution of 350 meters. MSMR will monitor at 6.6 GHz sea surface temperature, wind speed, cloud vapor/water content. Initial orbital parameters of the noon-midnight Sun-synchronous orbit were period 99 min, apogee 730 km, perigee 719 km and inclination 98.4 deg.
1999-028A USA 144 is an American military spacecraft. According to newspaper reports, it was launched by a Titan 4B rocket from Vandenberg AFB in the early morning.
1999-027A Nimiq is a Canadian geosynchronous communications spacecraft that was launched by a Proton-K rocket from Baikonur at 22:30 UT. Nimiq is an Inuit (Eskimo) word for "bonding strength". The 3.5 tonne spacecraft carries 35 Ku-band transponders to provide direct-broadcast voice and video communications to North America and the Arctic region after parking over 91 deg-W longitude.
1999-026B MUBLCOM (MUltiple-path Beyond Line-of-sight COMmunications) is an American military (DARPA) spacecraft that was launched at 05:09 UT by a Pegasus XL rocket carried by a L-1011 cargo plane flying out of Vandenberg AFB. The 50 kg spacecraft will enable VHF/UHF links between phones in mountainous regions up to a distance of 200 km. Initial orbital parameters were period 100 min, apogee 780 km, perigee 775 km, and inclination 97.8 deg.
1999-026A TERRIERS (Tomographic Experiment using Radiative Recombinative Ionsopheric EUV and Radio Sources) is an American space physics satellite that was launched by a Pegasus XL rocket carried by a L-1011 cargo plane flying out of Vandenberg AFB. (The Boston Terrier is the mascot of Boston University whose faculty and students built much of the satellite and its instruments.) The 125 kg spacecraft is intended to monitor the solar (not ionospheric) extreme ultraviolet (EUV) spectrum in the 7-40 nm wavelength range with an instrument named GISSMO (Gas Ionization Solar Spectral MOnitor). GISSMO is an ionization chamber containing neon gas, and the EUV spectrum is derived by measuring the photoelectron flux in the chamber with an electrostatic analyzer. It also carries a pair of photometers to monitor emissions at the wavelength of 630 nm arising by the radiative recombination of atomic oxygen ions in the ionosphere. TERRIERS also carries 150 and 400 MHz beacons which will be monitored at five or more ground stations to enable radio "tomography" of the ionosphere. The project also involves collaborative data from the Milstone Thompson scatter radar facility. Efforts to orient the satellite's solar panels failed, since contact was lost after the battery had discharged. However, within a few months the panels may orient naturally, well enough to command full orientation. For ongoing status, see The initial orbital parameters were period 95.7 min, apogee 560 km, perigee 550 km, and inclination 97.8 deg.
1999-025B Shijian 5, also named Experiment 5, is a Chinese (PRC) experimental/test satellite that was launched by a Long March 4B rocket from Taiyuan in the northern Shanxi province at 01:33 UT, in a Sun-synchronous orbit. Initial orbital parameters were period 102 min, apogee 869 km, perigee 849 km, and inclination 98.8 deg.
1999-025A Fengyun 1C is a Chinese (PRC) weather monitoring satellite that was launched by a Long March 4B rocket from Taiyuan in the northern Shanxi province at 01:33 UT, in a Sun-synchronous orbit. It carries scanning radiometers in 10 visible and infrared wavelengths to monitor cloud coverage and ocean colors/temperatures. Initial orbital parameters were period 102 min, apogee 868 km, perigee 849 km, and inclination 98.8 deg.
1999-024A ORION 3 was to be a South Korean geosynchronous communications spacecraft. It was launched by a Delta 3 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 01:00 UT. At the end of the first stage segment, the second stage might have ignited but failed to sustain the thrust. The spacecraft ended up in a low, useless orbit. Initial orbital parameters were period 102 min, apogee 1,317 km, perigee 422 km, and inclination 29 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.

    Note: The full list appeared in SPX 545. The list will not be repeated in future issues until significantly revised again.

  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.

  4. Actual decays/landings of payload spacecraft and rocket bodies (R/B) only. Additional information is not available.
    Designations         Common Name                       1999
    1999-020B   (25683)  R/B Delta 2                      30 May
    1998-032F   (25347)  R/B Delta 2                      15 May
    1979-004D   (11553)  R/B that launched Molniya 3-11.  08 May
    1976-024B   (08755)  R/B that launched Cosmos 808.    08 May
    1993-017C   (22583)  R/B Delta 2                      05 May
    1962-039D   (00388)  R/B Scout X-2M                   03 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.)

  6. Related NSSDC resources.

    NSSDC/WDC-A-R&S is an archival center for science data from many spacecraft. Many datasets are on-line for electronic access through:

    For off-line data, please contact the Request Office, NSSDC, 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 accessed via anonymous FTP from NSSDC. (See About the SPACEWARN Bulletin for access method; a file in the active directory named AAREADME.TXT, outlines the contents.)

    Other files interest for Earth-centered spacecraft can be generated thru the URL,

    Programs related to the heliospheric spacecraft trajectories can be executed through the URL,

    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, 09 June 1999
Last updated: 07 July 1999, EVB II