SPACEWARN Bulletin Number 566

01 January 2001
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 December 2000 and 31 December 2000.

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

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.
    INT.ID    CAT. #      NAME                 DATE (2000)
   2000-082A   (26643)   Beidou 1B                 20 Dec
   2000-081C   (26640)   LDREX                     20 Dec
   2000-081B   (26639)   GE 8                      20 Dec
   2000-081A   (26638)   Astra 2D                  20 Dec
   2000-080A   (26635)   USA 155                   06 Dec
   2000-079A   (26631)   EROS A1                   05 Dec
   2000-078A   (26630)   STS 97                    01 Dec

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

2000-082A Beidou 1B is a Chinese (PRC) navigational spacecraft that was launched by a Long March 3A rocket from Xichang launch center at 16:20 UT. The launch of this second Beidou completes the two-satellite navigational system which will provide positional information for highway, railway and marine transportation. Initial orbital parameters were period 752.6 min, apogee 41,871 km, perigee 190 km, and inclination 25 deg.
2000-081C LDREX (Large-scale Deployable Reflector EXperiment) is a Japanese experimental antenna dish that was launched by an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou at 00:26 UT. The reflector was to stay expanded to a diameter of 6 meters for about 20 min, after sliding out of a tubular container on the rocket. An on-board camera was to image and downlink the deployment process. Orbital parameters are not available.
2000-081B GE 8 is an American geosynchronous communications spacecraft that was launched by an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou at 00:26 UT. The 2.2 tonne (with fuel) spacecraft carries 24 C-band transponders to provide voice, video, and broadband data communications to the contiguous USA, Alaska, and the Caribbean after parking over 139 deg-W longitude.
2000-081A Astra 2D is a European (Luxembourg-registered) geosynchronous communications spacecraft that was launched by an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou at 00:26 UT. The 825 kg (dry mass) satellite carries 16 Ku-band transponders to provide direct-to-home voice, video, and data transmissions to Britain and neighboring countries after parking over 28.2 deg-E longitude.
2000-080A USA 155 is an American military (NRO) spacecraft that was launched by an Atlas 2AS rocket from Cape Canaveral at 02:47 UT. A report has it that it may be a satellite just to collect and relay data from NRO's many photo-reconnaissance satellites.
2000-079A EROS A1 (Earth Resources Observation Satellite) is an Israeli photo-reconnaissance satellite that was launched by a START 1 rocket from the new launch site at Svobodni in Siberia at 12:30 UT. (It is the third launch from that site. The START 1 rocket is a modified RS-12M Topol ICBM, also known in NATO as SS-25.) The 250 kg (dry mass) triaxially stabilized spacecraft carries a black and white high resolution (1.8 m) CCD camera, to obtain images (with terrain width of 12.6 km) of locations chosen by Israeli military or world-wide commercial clients, and downlink them at one of the 14 ground stations. The initial parameters of the Sun-synchronous orbit were period 94.6 min, apogee 505 km, perigee 490 km, and inclination 97.3 deg.
2000-078A STS 97 is an American shuttle spacecraft that was launched from Cape Canaveral at 03:06 UT. The main mission was to install a 72 m x 11.4 m, 65 kW double-wing solar panel on the Unity module of the International Space Station (ISS). Including the support beams, radiators and batteries, the power generator has a mass of 15.75 tonne. The previously docked Progress-M1 4 cargo spacecraft had to be temporarily evicted from the ISS before the installation. It required several spacewalks by the crew to extend the panel taut enough. The shuttle landed back in Cape Canaveral at 23:03 UT on 11 December. The initial orbital parameters of STS 97 were period 91.7 min, apogee 365 km, perigee 352 km, and inclination 51.6 deg.

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.

  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. Visually bright objects.

    A comprehensive list of visually bright objects with their two-line orbital elements is available from USSPACECOM, via a NASA URL, The list, however, does not include visual magnitudes, but are expected to be brighter than magnitude 5.

  5. Actual decays/landings of payload spacecraft and rocket bodies (R/B) only. No further information is available.
    Designations         Common Name              Decay Date (2000)
    1998-066C (25529) IRIDIUM 85                             30 Dec
    1970-034B (04392) R/B                                    29 Dec
    1987-109E (18719) R/B (Aux. Mot) that launched EKRON 17  20 Dec
    1992-047H (22067) R/B (Aux. Mot) Proton                  19 Dec
    1997-085B (25124) R/B START 1                            12 Dec
    1997-009B (24743) R/B Ariane 44LP                        12 Dec
    2000-078A (26630) STS 97           Landed on             11 Dec
    2000-077B (26627) R/B Proton-K                           01 Dec
    1998-051D (25470) IRIDIUM 79                             29 Nov

  6. 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 USSPACECOM has rematched the names with the IDs for the following two spacecraft, after input from the launching agencies; the names are just reversed.

          2000-057A (26545) Saudisat 1A
          2000-057D (26548) Tiungsat 1

  7. 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, 02 January 2001
Last updated: 14 May 2001, EVB II