A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 598                                                                                                                               01 Sep. 2003

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 1 August 2003 and 31 August 2003.

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

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.
    INT.ID    CAT. #      NAME                   DATE (UT)
   2003-040A    (27875)  USA 170                 29 August 2003
   2003-039A    (27873)  Progress M-48           29 August 2003
   2003-038A    (27871)  SIRTF                   25 August 2003
   2003-037B    (27869)  Cosmos 2401             19 August 2003
   2003-037A    (27868)  Cosmos 2400             19 August 2003
   2003-036A    (27858)  SCISAT 1                13 August 2003
   2003-035A    (27856)  Cosmos 2399             12 August 2003
   2003-034A    (27854)  Echostar 9 (Telstar 13) 08 August 2003

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

2003-040A USA 170, also known as DSCS 3B6, is an American, Defense Satellite Communications System's geostationary, super-secure communication satellite that was launched by a Delta 4 rocket from Cape Canaveral AFS at 23:13 UT on 29 August 2003. It is the 10th and final member of the DSCS phase 3 fleet enabling worldwide links among the American military personnel. The parking longitude is unavailable.
2003-039A Progress M-48 is a Russian automatic cargo carrier that was launched by a Soyuz-FG rocket from Baikonur at 01.47 UT on 29 August 2003. It carried 2.6 tonne of food, fuel, water, and equipment to be delivered to the International Space Station (ISS). It docked automatically with the Zvezda module of the ISS at 3:45 UT on 31 August 2003. In anticipation, the previous carrier, Progress M-47, containing the trash from the ISS was undocked and deorbited on 27 August. Initial orbital parameters were period 90.5 min, apogee 347 km, perigee 253 km, and inclination 51.6°.
2003-038A SIRTF (Space InfraRed Telescope Facility) is an American (NASA) astronomy satellite that was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 05:35 UT on 25 August 2003. The 950 kg satellite is the fourth member of NASA's Great Observatories, the others being the Hubble Telescope, the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory (decommissioned in June 2000), and the Chandra X-Ray Observatory. SIRTF, however, will be in a Sun-centered orbit at about 1 AU, moving behind the Earth closely, but receding by 0.1 AU/year. SIRTF Telescope has a Ritchey-Chretien design with a 85-cm, f/12 primary mirror backed by three kinds of cryogenically maintained infrared detectors at the focal plane. About 360 liters of liquid helium help to maintain the detectors at 1.5 Kelvin and the rest of the telescope at 5.5 Kelvin. There are three kinds of instruments in the focal plane.

IRAC is an InfraRed Array Camera that will take broadband images at four wavelength bands, 3.6, 4.5, 5.8, and 8.0 microns, of galaxies, dust clouds, and the Kuiper Belt of ice balls located beyond Pluto's orbit. The detectors are 256 x 256 pixel array of either In-Sb or Si-As. The field of view is 5 x 5 arc-min, with a resolution of one arc-min.

IRS, an InfraRed Spectrograph is actually four separate spectrographs, covering 5.3-14 micron band at low resolution, 10-19.5 micron band at high resolution, 14-40 micron band at low resolution, and the 19-37 micron band at high resolution. Each is backed by a 256 x 256 pixel array of Si-As or Si-Sb. Of primary interest are the interstellar molecular absorption bands.

MIPS is a Multiband Imaging Photometer for SIRTF that is fed by a scanning mirror to monitor the sky at three wavelength bands, at a resolution of a few arc-min, with a 128 x 128 pixel array for the 24 micron band, a 32 x 32 array for the 70 micron band (or the 50-100 micron band), and a 2 x 20 array for the 160 micron band. The field of view varies from 5 x 5 arcmin to 0.5 x 5 arcmin.

In all, the SIRTF telescope will cover the infrared wavelength range of 3-180 microns. The program is managed by NASA's JPL, with Michael Werner as the Project Scientist, and David Gallagher as the Project Manager. Investigation of targeted topics will be funded through the "General Observer" Program. Another, novel program called the "Legacy Science" Program aims at archival quality, exhaustive surveys involving massive observations of "general and lasting importance to the broad scientific community", i.e., without targeted science topics, which would enable many specific investigations in the future years. More details of the mission is available at The initial (Earth-centered) orbital parameters were period 87.7 min, apogee 163 km, perigee 162 km, and inclination 31.5°. However, it will be maneuvered soon to attain a heliocentric orbit of period about 363 days, at a radial distance of about 1 AU, and inclination 0.0°.
2003-037A,  2003-037B Cosmos 2400 and Cosmos 2401 are Russian military communications satellites that were launched by a Cosmos 3M rocket from Plesetsk at 10:50 UT on 19 August 2003. The initial orbital parameters of both were, approximately, period 115.7 min, apogee 1,501 km, perigee 1,468 km, and inclination 82.5°.
2003-036A SCISAT 1 is a Canadian (CSA) atmospheric research satellite that was launched at 02:10 UT by a Pegasus XL rocket released from an L-1011 cargo plane flying out of Vandenberg AFB on 13 August 2003. The 152 kg, 70 W, "bias momentum stabilized" spacecraft points to the Sun at one degree accuracy, and carries two instruments, FTS and MAESTRO, to monitor the atmospheric ozone and dust composition in the 4-100 km altitude range. The Mission Scientist is Peter Bernath of the University of Waterloo. More details of the mission and the instruments are available via The initial orbital parameters were period 97.7 min, apogee 655 km, perigee 642 km, and inclination 73.9°.

FTS (Fourier Transform Spectrometer) is basically a Michelson interferometer telescope with a primary lens, three secondary lenses at either side of a narrow slit, a beam splitter, a fixed mirror at the end of one beam and a movable mirror at the end of the other. The reflected beams recombine after re-entering the splitter, providing reinforced, annihilated or partially combined intensities, as the movable mirror is tuned. At an absorption band, in this case corresponding to a ozone absorption band, even the reinforced intensity will be weak. The telescope is pointed at the setting or rising Sun so that the long horizontal path in the atmosphere maximizes the absorption at the (ozone) bands of interest. During the progression of the Sunrise/set, the data contains decipherable information on the vertical distribution of the ozone molecule. A Fourier transform is performed on the detector output, to decontaminate the output, so that the intensities are purely at discrete wavelengths, uncontaminated by partial contributions from nearby wavelengths.

MAESTRO (Measurements of Aerosol Extinction in the Stratosphere and Troposphere Retrieved by Occultation) is a reflecting grating telescopic spectrometer consisting of a primary lens, a slit flanked by secondary lenses on either side, a plane reflecting grating and a detector. By slowly rotating the grating, lights of different wavelengths will be enabled to impinge on the photoelectric detector. In addition to providing a spectrum of sunlight at the rising and setting positions, it will also enable derivation of the atmospheric extinction due to aerosols and dust. No Fourier transformation of the detector output is called for.
2003-035A Cosmos 2399, also named Neman, is a Russian military photo-reconnaissance satellite that was launched by a Soyuz-U rocket from Baikonur at 14:20 UT on 12 August 2003. The initial orbital parameters were period 89.4 min, apogee 295 km, perigee 197 km, and inclination 64.9°.
2003-034A Echostar 9, also known as Telstar 13, is an American geostationary communications satellite that was launched by a Zenit 3SL rocket from the floating Odyssey platform on the equatorial Pacific at 154° W longitude at 03:31 UT on 8 August 2003. The 4.7 tonne satellite carries 24 C-band, and a few Ku- and Ka-band transponders to provide direct-to-home and cable-fed high definition television programs to all regions of North America after parking over 121° W 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.

    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)
    2003-039B (27874)  R/B Soyuz-FG                        31 Aug
    2003-006A (27681)  PROGRESS M-47                       28 Aug
    2002-029E (27447)  R/B (Aux.-Mot.) Proton-K            24 Aug
    2003-035B (27857)  R/B Soyuz-U                         16 Aug
    1993-067A (22875)  COSMOS 2265                         11 Aug
    1979-020B (11286)  R/B that launched INTERCOSMOS 19    06 Aug
    1970-011A (04330)  OSUMI (LAMBDA-4S)                   02 Aug
    2003-003A (27647)  STS 107 (disintegrated)             01 Feb
  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 September 2003
Last updated: 02 October 2003, EVB II