SPACEWARN Bulletin Number 570

01 May 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 April 2001 and 30 April 2001.

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

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.
    INT.ID    CAT. #      NAME                 DATE (2001)
   2001-017A   (26749)   Soyuz-TM 32             28 April
   2001-016A   (26747)   STS 100                 19 April
   2001-015A   (26745)   GSat 1                  18 April
   2001-014A   (26734)   Mars Odyssey            07 April
   2001-013A   (26736)   Ekran-M 18              07 April

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

2001-017A Soyuz-TM 32 is a Russian passenger craft that was launched from Baikonur by a Soyuz-U rocket at 07:37 UT, on 28 April 2001. It carried a three man crew (two Russian and one American, the latter not a professional astronaut) to the International Space Station, ISS. It docked automatically with the ISS at 07:57 UT on 30 April, just a few hours after the shuttle STS 100 undocked. The crew will stay for a week. The initial orbital parameters were period 90.3 min, apogee 326 km, perigee 254 km, and inclination 51.6 deg.
2001-016A STS 100 is an American shuttle spacecraft that was launched from Cape Canaveral at 18:41 UT on 19 April 2001 to dock with the International Space Station (ISS). It carried a crew of four Americans, one Russian, one Canadian and one Italian. The main mission was to install an 18 meter, 1,700 kg Canadian robotic arm named Canadarm-2 on the ISS, and to transport an Italian cargo container, Raffaello, which delivered 4,500 kg of supplies and equipment to the station. It docked with the ISS at 13:59 UT on 21 April. The robotic arm was hooked to the ISS with the help of the shuttle's own 16 meter arm, and two of the crew members. The seven-joint arm was not permanently bolted to the ISS, and will crawl along the exterior walls under computer control, temporarily anchoring wherever needed. There was a sequential failure of the three on-board computers on the ISS, but after four days of effort a backup computer was activated sufficiently to enable the Canadarm-2 to hand over its own packing crate to the shuttle arm. STS 100 undocked from the ISS on 29 April after retrieving Raffello and landed at Edwards AFB in California on 01 May. Initial orbital parameters were period 92.3 min, apogee 394 km, perigee 377 km, and inclination 51.6 deg.
2001-015A GSat 1 is an Indian, 1,500 kg (scaled-down) test model of a future, geosynchronous communications spacecraft. It was launched by a GSLV-D1 rocket from Shriharikota (at 13 deg-N and 80 deg-E, on the eastern coast of India) at 10:13 UT on 18 April 2001. The expectation/test was on the 400 tonne rocket assembly which is an augmented version of the well-proven PSLV rocket, with a third cryogenic stage. The motor for the cryogenic, hydrogen-oxygen stage had been purchased from Russia. After a series of gas burns to lift the spacecraft from the transfer orbit (180 km x 32,000 km with an inclination of 19.2 deg), and move the orbital plane to the equator, the GSat 1 ran out of a necessary 10 kg more of fuel. Preliminary analysis revealed a shortfall of 0.5% in the thrust, probably of the third stage motor, that resulted in a short fall of the transfer orbit apogee. In the end, the parameters of the drifting (about 13 deg/day) orbit were period 23 hours, apogee 35,665 km, perigee 33,806 km, and inclination 0.99 deg. The fully functional transponders and transmitters on board may be deactivated if the International Telecommunications Union so advises.
2001-014A Mars Odyssey is an American heliospheric spacecraft that was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 15:02 UT on 7 April 2001. It is scheduled to arrive near Mars on 24 October 2001. After a thruster firing to slow it down, it will circle the planet in a highly elliptical orbit with a period of 25 hours. With the help of aerobraking during the next 76 days, it will reach a Sun-synchronous polar orbit at an altitude of 400 km and with a period of about two hours, and initiate a 917 Earth-days long mapping program. It will also serve as a communications relay for the American and international landers expected to arrive in 2003/2004. In the Martian orbit, it will map the distribution of elements and minerals on the surface, the distribution of hydrogen (embedded in water ice) and the radiation environment. The second is to assess the likelyhood of past or present life, and the third is to assess the radiation hazard to manned missions. The three major instruments on board are THEMIS (Thermal Emission Imaging System at the visible and infrared light) for the distribution, at 100 meter resolution, of minerals that form only in the presence of water, GRS (Gamma Ray Spectrometer) for determining hydrogen and other elements, and MARIE (presumably, MArs RadIation Environment) for determining the radiation hazard. THEMIS will also enable site selection for a future manned landing. THEMIS is expected to provide 15,000 images, each covering 20 x 20 km. GRS carries two neutron monitors also. The gamma rays and neutrons come out of the surface in distinct, element-specific energies, released by cosmic ray bombardment. The site, is a good source for more details.
2001-013A Ekran-M 18 is a Russian geosynchronous communications spacecraft that was launched by the new/upgraded Proton-M rocket from Baikonur at 03:47 UT on 7 April 2001. The two tonne spacecraft will provide direct-to-home video and voice channels to Siberia and far-eastern regions. (Proton-M can launch satellites 1.5 tonnes heavier than those launched by Proton-K, uses environment-friendly fuel that, in fact, will be fully burnt before the rocket re-enters, and its re-entry location can be controlled to a small, specific location. The fourth stage of the rocket is the well tested Breeze M which may soon by replaced by a crygenic hydrogen-oxygen stage named KVRB, so as to compete with Ariane-5's capability. Ekran-M 18 will replace the recently failed Ekran-M 15 that has been operating since October 1992, after parking near 105 deg-E longitude.

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 50 (2001-004A).

  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 (2001)
    2001-017B (26750)  R/B Soyuz-U                             29 April
    1977-053B (10960)  R/B Atlas-F                             28 April
    2000-056A (26538)  COSMOS 2372                             20 April
    1985-070E (15957)  R/B (aux.mot.) that launched RADUGA 16  19 April
    1971-031B (05143)  R/B that launched METEOR 8              19 April
    2001-008A (26713)  PROGRESS M-44                           16 April
    1994-035B (23133)  R/B Atlas-Centaur                       05 April
    1988-115D (19733)  R/B that launched MOLNIYA 1-74          02 April
    Below are the components of the MIR station, 1986-017A (16609) that was
    reported in SPX 569 to have decayed on 23 March.
    1987-030A (17845)  KVANT 1                                 23 March
    1989-093A (20335)  KVANT 2                                    "
    1990-048A (20635)  KRISTALL                                   "
    1995-024A (23579)  SPEKTR                                     "
    1996-023A (23848)  PRIRODA                                    "
    2001-003A (26688)  PROGRESS-M1 5                              "

  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.)

  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, 01 May 2001
Last updated: 14 May 2001, EVB II