SPACEWARN Bulletin Number 559

01 June 2000
A publication of NASA's National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information as the WWAS for ISES/COSPAR

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 1 May 2000 and 31 May 2000.

A. List of New International Designations and Launch Dates (UTC).

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.
     2000-028A (26369) Eutelsat W4           25 May
     2000-027A (26368) STS 101               19 May
     2000-026B (26366) Simsat 2              16 May
     2000-026A (26365) Simsat 1              16 May
     2000-025A (26360) Navstar 51 (USA 150)  11 May
     2000-024A (26356) DSP 20 (USA 149)      08 May
     2000-023A (26354) Cosmos 2370           03 May
     2000-022A (26352) GOES 11               03 May

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

2000-028A Eutelsat W4 is a geosynchronous communications spacecraft owned by that European consortium. It was launched at 23:10 UT by the new model Atlas 3 that is propelled by a Russian engine, RD 180. The 1,380 kg (dry mass), 6 kW spacecraft carries 31 channels in the Ku-BSS band to provide voice and video communications to eastern African countries, eastern European countries, and Russia after parking over 36 deg-E longitude. (There are two more operational Eutelsats: Eutelsat W2 at 16-E and Eutelsat W3 at 7-E.)
2000-027A STS 101 is an American shuttle craft that was launched from Cape Canaveral at 10:11 UT. The main mission was to carry out repairs and upgrades to the International Space Station (ISS): to replace four of the six solar charged batteries on the Zarya module, to stabilize a wobbly 3-meter construction crane that was installed during an earlier shuttle mission, to complete the installation of a partially installed Russian 15-meter crane on the Zarya module, to replace a faulty communications antenna, to boost by 32 km the altitude of the station which has been loosing 2.4 km/week, to deliver a tonne of food, fuel and supplies to the station, and prepare the station for the arrival of the Russian service module, Zvezda, in mid-July. All objectives were implemented and STS 101 landed back in Cape Canaveral at 06:20 UT on 29 May. Initial orbital parameters were period 91 min, altitude 320 km, and inclination 51.6 deg.
2000-026A, 2000-026B Simsat 1 and Simsat 2 were launched by the new Russian rocket named Rokot from Plesetsk cosmodrome at 08:28 UT. Both satellites are dummies simulating future commercial launches. (Earlier, the USSPACECOM had named the Simsats as Dummysats.) Rokot is the two-stage UR-100N ICBM (known as SS-19 in NATO), but augmented by the addition of a Bris-Km booster stage and capable of launching two-tonne satellites into low earth orbits inexpensively. (Previous launches of the SS-19 from a silo had engendered unacceptable acoustic impact on the payload.) Initial orbital parameters of both the dummies were similar: period 95.6 min, apogee 550 km, perigee 536 km, and inclination 86.4 deg.
2000-025A Navstar 51 (USA 150) is the latest addition to the American GPS fleet of navigation satellites, and was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 01:48 UT. The 24-spacecraft fleet was completed in 1994, but Navstar 51 will replace a failing member. GPS navigational location has until recently been at 100 meter accuracy for civilian use signals, and at 20 meter accuracy for military use signals. As of 1 May 2000, the DoD has voided the intentional degradation of the accuracy for civilian use, and made it on a par with the military accuracy. But it retains the prerogative to degrade the accuracy at selected locations when necessary. Also known as PRN20 (in GPS parlance), it replaces the failing PRN14 in Slot E-1. An update of the GPS fleet has been provided by Richard B. Langley, and is appended in section C-2. Initial orbital parameters of Navstar 51 were period 712 min, altitude 20,200 km, and inclination 55 deg.
2000-024A DSP 20 (USA 149) is an American geosynchronous military reconnaissance satellite that was launched by a Titan 4B rocket from Cape Canaveral. The 2.5 tonne, 680 W spacecraft is the 20th in the DSP (Defense Support Program) fleet and is reported to carry 6,000 lead sulfide infra-red sensors to detect rocket launches and nuclear explosions, from horizon to horizon.
2000-023A Cosmos 2370 is a Russian military reconnaissance spacecraft that was launched by a Soyuz-U rocket from Baikonur at 13:25 UT. It is the 22nd member of the Neman fleet of spy satellites. It is a follow-up to the Tselina 2 (Cosmos 2369) spacecraft which merely intercepted radio transmissions, especially over Chechnya; Cosmos 2370 has photo-reconnaissance resources also, with data arriving in digital form. According to Moscow's Kommersant newspaper, until this launch, Russia has remained without photo-reconnaissance resources for five months, after the failure of the Kobalt (Cosmos 2365) spacecraft in December 1999. The imaging will be done mainly over Chechnya, since there is no functional relaying resource in geosynchronous orbit (via the now dysfunctional Geyzer spacecraft) for images from elsewhere on the globe. Initial orbital parameters were period 89.6 min, apogee 279 km, perigee 229 km, and inclination 64.8 deg.
2000-022A GOES 11 is an American geosynchronous meteorological spacecraft that was launched by an Atlas-2A/Centaur rocket from Cape Canaveral at 07:07 UT. The instruments onboard the 2,105 kg (with fuel) spacecraft are almost identical to the ones onboard GOES-8, -9,and -10. The major ones are the Imager, the Sounder and the SEM package. The Imager scans East-West with a north-south swath of eight km, in four spectral channels: 0.55-0.75, 3.8-4.0, 6.5-7.0, 10.2-11.2, and 11.5-12.5 micron wavelength bands. The Sounder has 19 discrete wavelength channels covering 0.7 to 14.71 microns. It is called a "sounder" only because the progressive increase in the atmospheric opacity from channel to channel enables sampling the atmosphere as those many layers for temperature, moisture content, and ozone distribution. The SEM package consists of a magnetometer, X-ray sensor, and energetic electron, proton and alpha particle detectors. The spacecraft also carries a transponder for search and recovery activities. The spacecraft has now been parked over 104 deg-W longitude, about halfway between GOES 8 (75 W) and GOES 10 (135 W). (GOES 9 which had malfunctioned in 1998 is passively stored in orbit to replace any GOES that may fail.)

C. Spacecraft Particularly Suited for International Participation

  1. Spacecraft with essentially continuous radio beacons on frequencies less than 150 MHz, or higher frequencies if especially suited for ionospheric or geodetic studies. (NNSS denotes U.S. Navy Navigational Satellite System. Updates or corrections to the list are possible only with information from the user community.)

    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.

    An e-mail communication from Richard B. Langley is available which provides a status of the Navstar GPS Constellation as of 20 May 2000.

  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-545. 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. No further information is available.
    Designations         Common Name              Decay Date (2000)
    2000-027A (26368) STS 101               Land back on 29 May    
    1989-094A (20338) MOLNIYA 3-36                       19 May
    1994-026B (23098) R/B Titan 4/Centaur                18 May
    2000-017B (26114) R/B Delta 2                        17 May
    1977-061B (10135) R/B that launched COSMOS 925       17 May
    1963-022B (00603) R/B Scout X-3                      17 May
    2000-008E (26085) R/B Delta 2                        15 May
    2000-023B (26355) R/B Soyuz-U                        06 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.)

    2000-018A, Soyuz TM has been renamed as Soyuz TM-30.

  6. Related NSSDC resources.

    NSSDC/WDC for Satellite Information is an archival center for science data from many spacecraft. Many space physics 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 through 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, 01 June 2000
Last updated: 01 September 2000, EVB II