A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 596                                                                                                                               01 July 2003

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 1 June 2003 and 30 June 2003.

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

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.
    INT.ID    CAT. #      NAME                   DATE (UT)
   2003-030A    (27838)  Orbview 3            26 June 2003
   2003-029A    (27834)  Molniya 3-53         19 June 2003
   2003-028B    (27831)  Optus 1C             11 June 2003
   2003-028A    (27830)  B-Sat 2C             11 June 2003
   2003-027A    (27827)  MER-A                10 June 2003
   2003-026A    (27825)  Thuraya 2            10 June 2003
   2003-025A    (27823)  Progress M1-10       08 June 2003
   2003-024A    (27820)  AMC 9                06 June 2003
   2003-023A    (27818)  Cosmos 2398          04 June 2003
   2003-022A    (27816)  Mars Express         02 June 2003

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

2003-030A Orbview 3 is an American photo-imaging minisatellite that was launched at 18:55 UT on 26 June 2003 by a Pegasus rocket that was released from an L-1011 cargo plane flying out of Vandenberg AFB. The 304 kg satellite carries high-resolution cameras to enable black-and-white images at 1.0 meter resolution and color images at 4.0 meter resolution. Initial orbital parameters were period 92.5 min, apogee 429 km, perigee 365.7 km, and inclination 97.3°.
2003-029A Molniya 3-53 is a two-tonne Russian military communications spacecraft that was launched into a highly elliptical orbit by a Molniya-M rocket from Plesetsk at 20:00 UT on 19 June 2003. It will be the last in the Molniya 3 series. Initial orbital parameters were period 732.7 min, apogee 40,457 km, perigee 629 km, and inclination 62.8°.
2003-028B Optus 1C is an Australian dual-use (civil/military) geostationary satellite that was launched by an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou by an Arian 5 rocket at 22:38 UT on 11 June 2003. The 4.7 tonne satellite carries 24 Ku-band civilian transponders and eight military transponders. The civilian part of the payload will enable video and internet links to Australia, New Zealand and East Asia, after parking over 156° E longitude.
2003-028A B-Sat 2C is a Japanese geostationary communications spacecraft that was launched by an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou at 22:38 UT on 11 June 2003. It will provide direct digital broadcasts to homes in Japan and neighboring countries through its Ku-band transponders.
2003-027A MER-A (Mars Exploration Rover A) is an American (NASA) planetary mission that was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral AFS at 17:59 UT on 10 June 2003. The 1.1 kg (with fuel), tetrahedron-shaped carrier is expected to soft-land on Mars on 4 January 2004, on the Gusev crater at 15° south of the equator, and nudge out a robotic rover named Spirit to do geology observations. (The WDC-SI may assign 2003-027D as the ID for Spirit, after the landing.) Other than releasing Spirit, MER-A has no other significant functionality.

The 185 kg, 140 W Spirit is a six-wheeler and carries several instruments to investigate the surface of Mars by roving up to 500 meters from the landing site. The data collected from the following instruments will be downlinked via the current Mars orbiters, Global Surveyor and Odyssey.

Pancam (Panoramic Camera) is a high-resolution color stereo pair of CCD cameras that sits on the mast of the rover. It is capable of imaging a 360° field of view. A filter wheel in front of each lens will enable color images.

RAT, the Rock Abrasion Tool is a 0.72 kg drill to make 5-mm deep holes of 45-mm diameter to enable the other instruments to image the cleaned surfaces, and analyze the dust emitted during the drilling.

Microscopic Imager, located on the arm of the rover, is a combination of a microscope and a CCD camera that will focus on mineral grains, both weathered and polished (by the rock abrasion tool) to provide black-and-white pictures for determining the size and shape of the minerals.

Mini-TES (Miniature Thermal Emission Spectrometer) is 2.1 kg infrared spectrometer that will capture the thermal emissions from rocks, so as to infer the mineral content. It will also look into the atmosphere to monitor the temperature, water vapor, and dust content.

Mossbauer Spectrometer will probe iron-rich (and other) minerals by capturing reflected, Doppler-shifted gamma rays. It is mounted at the end of the rover arm.

APXS, an Alpha Particle X-ray Spectrometer, is mounted on the arm of the rover and will collect the characteristic alpha particle and x-ray emissions, and enable inference of some of the atomic species in the minerals. The emissions will be by the rarer isotopic components of the well-known atoms in minerals.

Magnet Arrays consist of three sets of magnets. The first set will be with the RAT instrument, to collect the magnetic dust particles from the drilling, for analysis by other instruments. The second set will collect the natural air-born dust for analysis by the Mossbauer and APXS instruments. The third set will just enable the Pancam lenses to remain dust-free.

There are a number of investigators in the MER-A team. The Project Manager is Peter Theisinger of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the Project Scientist is Joy Crisp of JPL. The Principal Investigator of the rover based observations is Steve Squyres of Cornell University. For further details on the mission and the instruments, see, and
2003-026A Thuraya 2 is a UAE (United Arab Emirate) geostationary communications spacecraft that was launched by a Zenit 3SL rocket fired from Odyssey (the floating launch platform in the equatorial Pacific Ocean) at 13:56 UT on 10 June 2003. The 5.2 tonne (with fuel), 11 kW satellite carries many transponders to relay mobile telephone calls from/to countries in and around the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent, after parking over 44° E longitude. Its 200 spot beams can be steered to meet the varying call densities, and will enable it to handle 13,750 calls simultaneously.
2003-025A Progress M1-10 is a Russian automatic cargo carrier that was launched by a Soyuz-U rocket from Baikonur at 10:34 UT on 8 June 2003. It docked at 11:15 UT on 11 June with the PIRS module of the International Space Station (ISS) automatically and delivered 2.3 tonnes of food, fuel, water, and scientific/engineering equipment. Initial orbital parameters were period 92.3 min, apogee 393 km, perigee 384 km, and inclination 51.6°.
2003-024A AMC 9 is an American geostationary communications spacecraft that was launched by a Proton-K rocket from Baikonur at 22:15 UT on 6 June 2003. The 4.1 tonne satellite will provide direct-to-home digital TV, and data transfer in USA and Canada, through its 24 C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders after parking at 85° W longitude.
2003-023A Cosmos 2398 is a Russian military satellite that was launched by a Cosmos-3M rocket from Plesetsk at 19:23 UT on 4 June 2003. Initial orbital parameters were period 105 min, apogee 1,015 km, perigee 971 km, and inclination 83°.
2003-022A Mars Express is a European (ESA)-Russian (IKI) planetary mission that was launched by a Soyuz-Fregat rocket from Baikonur at 17:45 UT on 2 June 2003. The 1.1 tonne (with fuel), 650 W, 1.5 x 1.8 x 1.4 m spacecraft consists of a Mars Orbiter and a 65 kg lander named Beagle 2 that will be released from the orbiter when it reaches the planet's vicinity in December 2003.

The Mars Orbiter (retaining 2003-022A as its ID) is equipped with the following instruments:

ASPERA is a 6.7 kg energetic neutral atom analyzer to study how the solar wind erodes the atmosphere. The interaction of Martian atmospheric gases with the solar wind converts those neutrals into energetic ions of energy 0.1-10 keV. ASPERA is a mass spectrometer that will measure the fluxes, mostly of oxygen. Part of ASPERA will monitor the (UV- or x-ray-ionized) energetic photoelectrons of energy 5 eV-20 keV in the atmosphere by means of which it can infer the neutral composition below the orbiter's altitude. The Principal Investigator is Rickard Lundin of Swedish Institute of Space Physics, Kiruna. ASPERA data will complement similar data to be procured by the Japanese spacecraft called Nozomi to arrive at Mars in 2003/04. For further information, see

HRSC (High/super Resolution Stereo Colour imager) is a 21.2 kg camera to image the Martian surface and its atmosphere, at a dual resolution of 10-30 m and 2 m. The 3-D images emerge by viewing the same spot from different segments of the orbit. The high resolution images will enable selection of the site for the lander. The Principal Investigator is Gerhard Neukum of the Institut für Weltraumsensorik und Planetenerkundung in Berlin. Data from (the currently orbiting) Mars Orbiter's Laser Altimeter (MOLA) will supplement in deriving the actual radial distance (from the center of Mars) of the 3-D features. For further information, see

MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding) is a 12 kg Radar operating in the 1.3-5.5 MHz band through a 40 m-long antenna. Strong reflections are expected from the Martian surface, but weaker and delayed echoes may arise from subsurface pockets of water at depths of a few kilometers. The best times are at night when the Martian ionosphere will vanish. The echoes during the sunlit hours will be of ionospheric interest. The Principal Investigator is Giovanni Picardi, Universita di Roma, Rome, Italy. For further information, see

PFS (Planetary Fourier Spectrometer) is intended to obtain spectra of atmospheric gases, especially of the trace gases. It will operate mainly during the pericenter segments, pointing directly at the nadir. The output of the interferometer, operating in the 1.2 -45 micron wavelengths, will be subjected to Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) to unfold gases such as CO, CH4, and HCHO, especially over the winter poles. The Principal Investigator is Vittorio Formisano of the Instituto Fisica Spazio Interplanetario, Rome, Italy. For further information, see

MaRS (Mars Radio Science experiment) is based on analyzing the telemetry signals at 2.3 GHz (S-band) and 8.4 GHz (X-band) that traverse the atmosphere and the ionosphere just before the spacecraft's occultation and just after its emergence from occultation. The phase and amplitude of the telemetry signals will enable derivation of the atmospheric and ionospheric profiles; the former via the X-band, and the latter via the S-band signals. The Principal Investigator is Martin Pätzold, Universität Köln, Cologne, Germany.

OMEGA is a 29 kg mineralogical mapping spectrometer that will be directed to ascertain the mineral content of the Martian surface. Though the red planet's surface is dominated by iron oxides throughout, enhanced minor minerals may populate certain small-scale regions. OMEGA has two independent channels, each with its own telescope, spectrometer, and detection systems. The visible band at 0.5-1.0 microns will be directed to a CCD array, and the infrared band at 1.0-5.2 microns to an InSb array. Spatial resolution is expected to be a few kilometers in each. Spectral resolution will be at 7 nm in the visible and 13-20 nm in the infrared. The mission hopes to detect enough carbonate-rich regions that could partly account away for the weak density of CO2 in the atmosphere and indirectly to the existence of significant H20 once upon a time that went into creating carbonates via carbonic acid. The Principal Investigator is Jean-Pierre Bibring, Institut d'Astrophysique Spatiale, Orsay, France. For further information, see

SPICAM is a UV and IR atmospheric spectrometer that will probe the atmosphere, mainly at altitudes 20-300 km. It carries two sensors, one at 118-320 nm, and the other at 1.0-1.7 microns. The UV sensor has three pointing modes. In the nadir mode, it will measure ozone content by noting the absorption in the surface-reflected light. In the solar (or stellar) occultation mode it will enable derivation of the vertical profiles of O3 and CO2 in the atmosphere. In the simple limb-pointing mode it will monitor the "after-glow". The IR spectrometer, always directed at the nadir, will help derive the H2O content. SPICAM will also probe the dayside ionosphere by measuring the UV line-emissions from the dominant CO2+ and CO+ ions during its limb-pointing modes. The Principal Investigator is Jean-Loup Bertaux, Service d'Aeronomie, Verrieres-le-Buisson, France.

Beagle 2 is a 65 kg, 0.95 m diameter, clam-shaped lander that will be released when the Mars Express reaches the Martian vicinity. The WDC-SI may assign the International ID, 2003-022C after the landing. It will make in situ analysis of the soil, after landing at 10.6° N and 270° W in the sedimentary basin known as Isidis Planitia. The non-mobile lander carries a maneuverable robotic arm. It will be powered by a 42-cell battery pack, kept charged by solar panels, and will be able to provide 650 W of power. The soil collection will be by a "mole" in the PAW (Position Adjustable Workbench) of the arm, and the rock collection will be by a corer in the PAW. Listed below are the monitors that are located in the PAW; more details may be obtained from The Lead Scientist is Colin Pillinger of the Open University, UK (email: The Mission Manager is Mark Sims, University of Leicester, Leicester, UK (email:

Mossbauer Spectrometer: It is a gamma ray spectrometer to ascertain the atomic masses in the collected surface minerals by means of the mass-dependent Doppler shift of the reflected gamma rays from Co57 and Fe57.

Mass Spectrometer: The collected samples will be heated with oxygen in temperature steps to release carbon dioxide that will enter the mass spectrometer. The stepped heating will enable inference of the original organic molecule from which the carbon came.

X-ray Detector: It will monitor the x-ray spectrum produced by bombarding the samples with radiation from Cd109 and Fe55 sources, and will provide the proportion of Mg, Al, Si, S, Ca, Ti, Cr, and Fe in the minerals.

Cameras: Four cameras are mounted on the robotic arm. A pair of them will provide a 3-D view of the neighborhood and will watch the sample collection. Another camera will provide a wide-angle view of the vicinity even before the robotic arm is deployed. The fourth camera is part of a microscope that will image fresh rock surfaces (after cleaning the surface by a grinder), at a resolution of four microns.

Environmental Sensors: The lander is also equipped with several environmental sensors to measure the solar UV flux, the air temperature, pressure, wind speed, and dust content.

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.

    The latest addition to the fleet is Navstar 51 (GPS 2R-8), 2003-005A.

  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.

  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 (2003)
    2003-010B (27705)  R/B Delta 2(1)                      29 Jun
    1990-006A (20444)  MOLNIYA 3-37                        23 Jun
    2003-022B (27817)  R/B Fregat                          12 Jun
    2003-025B (27824)  R/B Soyuz-U                         11 Jun
    1999-046B (25895)  R/B Ariane 42P                      06 Jun
    1989-100B (20390)  R/B                                 05 Jun
  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.)

  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, 02 July 2003
Last updated: 31 July 2003, EVB II