SPACEWARN Bulletin Number 561

01 August 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 July 2000 and 31 July 2000.

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

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.
    INT.ID    CAT. #      NAME                 DATE (2000)
   2000-043A   (26451)   PAS 9 (PanAmSat 9)        28 Jul
   2000-042A   (26414)   Mightysat 2.1             19 Jul
   2000-041B   (26411)   Cluster 2/FM6             16 Jul
   2000-041A   (26410)   Cluster 2/FM7             16 Jul
   2000-040A   (26407)   Navstar 48 (USA 151)      16 Jul
   2000-039C   (26406)   Bird-Rubin (+Rocket Body) 15 Jul
   2000-039B   (26405)   CHAMP                     15 Jul
   2000-039A   (26404)   MITA-O                    15 Jul
   2000-038A   (26402)   Echostar 6                14 Jul
   2000-037A   (26400)   Zvezda                    12 Jul
   2000-036A   (26394)   Cosmos 2371               04 Jul

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

2000-043A PAS 9 (PanAmSat 9) is a Sea Launch consortium's geosynchronous communications spacecraft that was launched by a Zenith-3SL rocket from a floating platform in the equatorial Pacific Ocean near Christmas Island at 22:42 UT. The 2,389 kg spacecraft carries 24 Ku-band and 24 C-band transponders to provide over 160 voice, video, data, and internet channels to North America, the Caribbean, and Europe after parking over 58 deg-W longitude.
2000-042A Mightsat 2.1 (meaning first flight of the series-2 version) is an American military minispacecraft to test/demonstrate components for future utilization. It was launched by a Minotaur rocket from Cape Canaveral at 20:09 UT. The 130 kg spacecraft carries two kinds of hardware for tests. In the list of "unproven technologies" are SAC which focuses solar energy on solar cells; NSX that is an ultra-light weight communications unit; and MFCBS that contains a multifunctional composite bus structure. In the list of "stand alone experiments" is FTHSI that provides hyperspectral images through a Fourier transform technique; QS40 that monitors radiation damage in microelectronic components; SMATTE to investigate the bimodal behavior of composite sheets that change physical properties such as stiffness by tailored thermal inputs but can recover to the original status after heating above a transition temperature; and SAFI that carries embedded copper wires in a composite film to help reduce the weight of components.
2000-041A, 2000-041B Cluster 2/FM7 and Cluster 2/FM6 are the first two of a four-spacecraft European (ESA) mission that were launched by a Soyuz-Fregat rocket from Baikonur at 12:39 UT. Each of the cylindrical (3-m diameter, 1.3-m height), 1,200 kg (with fuel), and 224 W spacecraft carries 11 identical instruments to probe the magnetosphere. All four spacecraft of the Cluster 2 mission have an identical design and payload, and were designed to emulate the Clusters that perished during the failed maiden launch of Ariane 5 on 4 June 1996. The instruments/experiments on board are: 1) Fluxgate Magnetometer (FGM) to provide magnetic field components; 2) Electron Drift Instrument (EDI) to enable inference of electric field vector in the vicinity by recapturing the emissions from an electron gun; 3) Active Spacecraft POtential Control experiment (ASPOC) in which positive indium ions are shot in order to neutralize the build-up of positive charges on a spacecraft; 4) Spatio-Temporal Analysis of Field Fluctuation experiment (STAFF) to do in situ analysis of the fluctuations in the magnetic field; 5) Electric Field and Wave experiment (EFW) to measure the electric field and plasma density fluctuations; 6) Digital Wave Processing experiment (DWP) to enable in situ correlations of waves and plasma density; 7) Waves of HIgh frequency and Sounder for Probing Electron density by Relaxation experiment (WHISPER) which excites local plasma oscillations synchronous with the pulsed radio emissions; 8) Wide Band Data instrument (WBD) which monitors the B- and E-fields of natural VLF emissions such as whistlers; 9) Plasma Electron And Current Experiment (PEACE) which enables 3-D distribution function of cold and hot electrons; 10) Cluster Ion Spectroscopy experiment (CIS) to monitor the charge, mass, and distribution function of hot and cold ions; and 11) Research with Adaptive Particle Imaging Detectors (RAPID) to monitor the arrival direction of very high energy electrons and ions, and their energies. For more details, see and its links. These spacecraft will be frequently maneuvered to enable orbits that provide from time to time the sought-after parameters, mostly with a perigee at around 19,000 km and an apogee at around 119,000 km. (One of the ESA Web sites provides alternative names of Samba for the FM7 and Salsa for the FM6; Rumba for FM5, and Tango for FM8, both to be launched soon. It may be that at the scientists level the names will descend down to Cluster 1 and Cluster 2 for the current ones, and Cluster 3 and Cluster 4 for the to-be launched spacecraft.) Initial orbital parameters of both were period 620 min, apogee 35,000 km, perigee 247 km, and inclination 65 deg.
2000-040A Navstar 48 (USA 151) is an American navigational satellite in the GPS constellation that was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 09:17 UT. The total number in the fleet is now 29, including five spares. For more details of the GPS constellation, see section C-2. Initial orbital parameters were period 358 min, apogee 20,456 km, perigee 167 km, and inclination 39 deg.
Note: There have been a few revisions of the IDs and catalog numbers of the following three spacecraft. The most recent update from USSPACECOM, presumably subject to further confirmation, catalogs Bird-Rubin as 2000-039A (26404), with CHAMP and MITA-O combined in 2000-039B (26405), and the rocket body as 2000-039C (26406). The eventual list will appear in SPX 562.
2000-039C Bird-Rubin is a German microsatellite that was launched by a Kosmos-3M rocket from Plesetsk at 12:00 UT. The 37 kilogram microsatellite carries components for testing in the space environment. It remained attached to the rocket, intentionally or otherwise. Initial orbital parameters were period 93.5 min, apogee 476 km, perigee 416 km, and inclination 87.3 deg.
2000-039B CHAMP (CHAllenging Minisatellite Payload) is a German environmental research minispacecraft that carries instruments for collecting geophysical, oceanographic, and meteorological data. The 500 kg, triaxially stabilized spacecraft was launched by a Kosmos-3M rocket from Plesetsk at 12:00 UT, along with two other satellites. Initial orbital parameters were period 93.5 min, apogee 476 km, perigee 416 km, and inclination 87.3 deg.
2000-039A MITA-O is an Italian experimental minisatellite that was launched by a Kosmos-3M rocket from Plesetsk at 12:00 UT, along with two other satellites. (MITA is an Italian acronym: M for Minisatellite, I for Italy, T for Technology, and A for Advanced, all in Italian equivalents.) The 170 kg spacecraft carries instruments to monitor cosmic rays and Earth's magnetic field. The package has been named NINA, and some reports carry this name as an alternative spacecraft name. The initial orbital parameters were period 93.6 min, apogee 476 km, perigee 422 km, and inclination 87.3 deg.
2000-038A Echostar 6 is an American geosynchronous communications spacecraft that was launched by an Atlas 2AS rocket from Cape Canaveral at 05:21 UT. It carries about 16 transponders in Ku-band to provide many voice and video channels direct-to-home in North America, after first parking over 148 deg-W longitude and then moving it to 119 deg-W after FCC approval.
2000-037A Zvezda (meaning Star) is a Russian "service module" that was launched to dock with the International Space Station (ISS) by a Proton-K rocket from Baikonur at 04:56 UT. It is to be a primary and vital component of ISS at least during its construction phase, providing life-support function and electrical power for all other modules, enabling command and control, and providing residential quarters for the working crew. The 20 tonne module has three docking hatches and 14 windows. It was once being built as a replacement for the aging Mir. It carries about four thousand instruments and machinary units, compared to 1,500 in Zarya and 235 in Unity. It docked with the Zarya module automatically at 01:45 UT on 26 July. The first construction crew of three is expected to reach the ISS on a Soyuz craft on 30 October 2000. Currently, the vision, mission, and goal of ISS remain as its successful construction by 2005. Initial orbital parameters were period 90.9 min, apogee 352 km, perigee 285 km, and inclination 51.6 deg.
2000-036A Cosmos 2371 is a Russian geosynchronous military surveillance and communications spacecraft that was launched by a Proton-K rocket from Baikonur at 23:44 UT.

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.

    The latest addition to the GPS fleet is Navstar 48 (USA 151).

  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)
    1997-035C (24878) R/B Delta 2                        23 Jul
    1974-095E (09530) R/B Thorad/Delta 1                 18 Jul
    2000-041C (26412) R/B Fregat                         17 Jul
    2000-037B (26401) R/B Proton-K                       17 jul
    1990-061F (20698) R/B that launched KOSMOS 2085      16 Jul
    1994-050G (23209) R/B Proton-K                       10 Jul
    2000-036B (26395) R/B Proton-K                       07 Jul
    1989-094B (20339) R/B that launched MOLNIYA 3-36     04 Jul
    1990-112f (21025) R/B that launched RADUGA 26        02 Jul
    2000-035B (26391) R/B Proton-K                       01 Jul

  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.)

    USSPACECOM has corrected the name of 2000-025A to Navstar 47 (not Navstar 51).

  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,
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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, 01 August 2000
Last updated: 01 September 2000, EVB II