A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 580                                                                                                                            01 Mar. 2002

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 1 February 2002 and 28 February 2002.

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

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.
    INT.ID    CAT. #      NAME                   DATE (UT)
   2002-008A    (27382)  Cosmos 2387      25 February 2002
   2002-007A    (27380)  Intelsat 904     23 February 2002
   2002-006A    (27378)  Echostar 7       21 February 2002
   2002-005E    (27376)  Iridium 96       11 February 2002
   2002-005D    (27375)  Iridium 95       11 February 2002
   2002-005C    (27374)  Iridium 94       11 February 2002
   2002-005B    (27373)  Iridium 90       11 February 2002
   2002-005A    (27372)  Iridium 91       11 February 2002
   2002-004A    (27370)  HESSI            05 February 2002
   2002-003B    (27368)  DASH             04 February 2002
   2002-003A    (27367)  MDS 1            04 February 2002

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

2002-008A Cosmos 2387 is a Russian military reconnaissance satellite that was launched by a Soyuz-U rocket from Plesetsk at 17:25 UT on 25 February 2002. Initial orbital parameters were period 89.6 min, apogee 369 km, perigee 176 km, and inclination 67.1°.
2002-007A Intelsat 904 is a geosynchronous communications satellite of the international ITSO consortium that was launched by an Ariane 44L rocket from Kourou at 07:00 UT on 23 February 2002. It became the 22nd member of the operational Intelsat fleet. The 4,700 kg satellite will provide television and internet services to Europe, Asia and Australia through its 76 C-band and 22 Ku-band transponders after parking over 60° E longitude.
2002-006A Echostar 7 is an American geosynchronous communications satellite that was launched by an Atlas 3B rocket from Cape Canaveral at 12:43 UT on 21 February 2002. It carries 32 120-W transponders to provide direct-to-home video and data services after parking over 119° W longitude.
2002-005A, 2002-005B
  2002-005C, 2002-005D
Iridium 91, Iridium 90, Iridium 94, Iridium 95, and Iridium 96 are the latest additions to the fleet of 73 (66 + 7 spares) Iridium satellites. They were launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Vandenberg AFB at 17:44 UT on 11 February 2002. The fleet enables links between phones from anywhere to anywhere on the globe. Currently, its main user is the US Department of Defense (DoD). The geomagnetism community has found the data from the house-keeping magnetometers of the fleet useable. The parameters of the nearly circular orbits of all five were similar: period 98.0 min, altitude 660 km, and inclination 86.6°.
2002-004A HESSI (High Energy Solar Spectroscopic Imager) is an American (NASA) solar flare observatory that was launched at 20:58 UT on 5 February 2002 by a Pegasus XL rocket which was released from a L-1011 aircraft flying out of the Cape Canaveral AFS. The 293 kg (with fuel), 414 W satellite is equipped to image at high resolution solar flares in X-rays and gamma rays. The X-rays and gamma rays cover an energy range of 3 keV - 20 MeV with an energy resolution of about one keV and a spatial resolution of just a few seconds of arc. The imaging is accomplished by a 45 cm x 1.7 m tube containing nine pairs (one behind the other, spaced 1.5 m apart) of tungsten or molybdenum wire grids of width 9 cm mounted parallel to the rotation axis of the tube pointing at the Sun. The tube rotates about its axis as the spacecraft spins at a rate of 15 rpm. During a rotation, a photon from any point on the Sun can either pass through a grid-pair or be blocked by one or other of the grids. This causes a modulation of the intensity of photons emanating from that point. The depth of modulation is zero for the photons arriving exactly along the spin axis and gradually increases to the off-axis photons. Behind each grid-pair is a cryogenic (75 K) germanium detector of 7.1 cm diameter and 8.5 cm thickness. The output from each of the nine detectors, at any given energy, can be Fourier-analyzed to provide a full two-dimensional spatial spectrum of an extended source region on the Sun. The full spatial spectrum is possible because each wire grid pair has a different slit width, spacing and wire thickness. Data accumulation is about 16 Gb during a 10-min rotation. The telemetry data will be collected at Berkeley (CA), Wallops (VA), Santiago (Chile) and Weilheim (Germany). Science analysis of the data will involve close collaboration with many dedicated ground-based and satellite-based solar observatories. Robert Lin of the University of California, Berkeley (UCB) is the Principal Investigator, assisted by Peter Hervey of the UCB as Project Manager. The data will be available to the public use from three web sites:,, and Detailed description of the instrument and data processing is available in The initial orbital parameters were period 96.5 min, apogee 607 km perigee 579 km, and inclination 38.0°.
2002-003B DASH is a Japanese (ISAS) technology demonstration microsatellite that was launched by a H-2A rocket from Tanegashima Space Center at 02:45 UT on 4 February 2002. The 89 kg satellite was to release a 19 kg capsule to test the viability of hypersonic re-entry. The capsule is thermally protected by a carbon phenolic ablation shield to endure heating rates of 10 MW/square-meter. DASH failed to separate from the rocket and the capsule release could not be commanded. Another micro-object named VEP 3 is also reported to have been released from the rocket, but we have no information on it. The initial orbital parameters were period 636 min, apogee 35,740 km, perigee 474 km, and inclination 28.5°.
2002-003A MDS 1 (Mission Demonstration Satellite 1) is a Japanese (NASDA) satellite that was launched by a H-2A rocket from Tanegashima Space Center at 02:45 UT on 4 February 2002. It was renamed Tsubasa (meaning Wings) after the successful launch. The 480 kg satellite is intended to test the durability of commercially available semiconductors, solar batteries and computers. The initial orbital parameters were period 635 min, apogee 35,696 km, perigee 500 km, and inclination 28.5°.

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.

    High precision (<20 cm) GPS constellation tracking data obtained from the network of about 400 dedicated global stations that are of interest to geodetic study may be obtained through the following services provided by the International GNSS Service (IGS). The IGS is a service of the International Association of Geodesy (IAG).

         FTP:  [directory /igscb]

    The standard format of the GPS situation appeared in SPACEWARN Bulletin No. 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.)

    All GLONASS spacecraft are in the general Cosmos series. The Cosmos numbers 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 last appeared in SPACEWARN Bulletin No. 545. It will not be repeated in view of the excellent updated source at: maintained by the Information-Analytical Center (IAC), Russian Space Agency.

    The latest addition to the GLONASS fleet are Cosmos 2380, Cosmos 2381, and Cosmos 2382.

  4. Visually bright objects.

    See Users must register. Conditions apply.

  5. Actual decays/landings of payload spacecraft and rocket bodies (R/B) only. No further information is available.
    Designations         Common Name                  Decay Date (2002)
    1986-078A (17031)  COSMOS 1785                            28 Feb
    1997-018A (24779)  MINISAT 01                             26 Feb
    1994-087F (23460)  R/B (Aux) Proton-K                     17 Feb
    1979-093A (11600)  COSMOS 1143                            17 Feb
    1965-106A (01843)  COSMOS 100                             15 Feb
    1988-090D (19544)  R/B(2) that launched MOLNIYA 3-33      14 Feb
    1979-012B (11269)  R/B Mu-3C                              14 Feb
    1991-015C (21141)  R/B Ariane 44LP                        10 Feb
    1994-010B (23009)  DUMMY MASS                             07 Feb
    1988-090A (19541)  MOLNIYA 3-33                           04 Feb
    1996-010F (24736)  R/B (Aux) Proton-K                     02 Feb
    1979-070D (11556)  R/B(2) that launched MOLNIYA 1-44      02 Feb
    1999-065J (25988)  R/B(2) Pegasus                         01 Feb
    1997-051D (24947)  IRIDIUM 27                             01 Feb
    1992-031A (21987)  EUVE                                   31 Jan
  6. 60-day Decay Predictions.

    See Users must register for access. Conditions apply

  7. Miscellaneous Items. (This section contains information/data that are entered on occasion and may not be repeated in each issue of the SPACEWARN Bulletin.)

    Scott P. Donnell of Lockheed Martin Milstar group has written to say that the failed launch was of Milstar 3, not Milstar 4 as reported in SPX 579. Also, that the final member of the Milstar fleet will be the to-be-launched Milstar 6, not the Milstar 5 (USA 164) as reported in SPX 579. We invite further input on Milstar numbers.

  8. 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 690.1, 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 obtained from:

    Other files of interest for Earth-centered spacecraft can be generated via 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:

SPACEWARN Bulletin index About the SPACEWARN Bulletin About Spacecraft Categories NSSDC home page

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

Dr. Edwin V. Bell, II
NASA Official: Dr. Ed Grayzeck
V1.0, 04 March 2002
Last updated: 05 March 2003, EVB II