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A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 613
01 Dec. 2004

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 01 November 2004 and 30 November 2004.

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

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.

    INT.ID    CAT. #      NAME                   DATE (UT)
   2004-047A   (28485)    Swift                 20 November 2004
   2004-046A   (28479)    Tansuo 2              18 November 2004
   2004-045A   (28474)    Navstar 56 (USA 180)  06 November 2004
   2004-044A   (28470)    Ziyuan-2 3            06 November 2004

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

Swift is an American (NASA), Gamma-ray astrophysics satellite that was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 17:16 UT on 20 November 2004. The 1,470 kg, 1,040 W, 5.5 m x 5.5 m x 5.8 m, satellite houses three telescopes, and associated detectors and electronics. It will enable detection/location of the Gamma Ray Bursters (GRB) and monitoring the afterglow in X-ray, and UV/Visible light at the location. Several prior missions have captured GRB events to estimate that about 200 such bursts occur per year from explosive stellar events through out the universe. As soon as a burst occurs and its location identified by the Gamma ray telescope, the instrument platform will quickly swing toward the source while the other two telescopes begin monitoring the afterglow. Three data centers, HEASARC (GSFC,USA), UKSSD (UK) and ISAC (Italy) will receive data in real time via the TDRSS fleet of satellites. Neil Gehrels of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center is the overall Principal Investigator of the mission; Joe Dezio (GSFC) is the Project Manager; The initial orbital parameters were period 96.6 min, apogee 604 km, perigee 585 km, and inclination 20.6°.
BAT (Burst Alert Telescope) is a Gamma ray telescope, built by GSFC, uses a coded aperture to locate the source. The software to locate the source is provided by the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). The CdZnTe detector of 5,200 square-centimeters area, consisting of 32,500 units of 4 mm x 4 mm x 2 mm can pinpoint the location within 1.4 arc-minutes. The energy range is 15-150 keV. Scott Barthelmy (GSFC) is the Lead Scientist;
XRT (X-Ray Telescope) aims at the source more accurately, and monitors the afterglow in X-rays. It was built jointly by the Penn State University (PSU, USA), the Brera Astronomical Observatory (Italy), and the University of Leicester (UK). It has a detector of area 135 square-centimeters consisting of 600 x 600 pixels, and covers the energy range of 0.2-10 keV. It can locate the afterglow source at an accuracy of four arc-seconds. Dave Barrows of PSU (USA) is the Lead Investigator;
UVOT (Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope) monitors the after glow in the UV and Visible light, and locates the source at an accuracy of one arc-second. Its aperture is 30 cm, with an f-number equal to 12.7, and is backed by 2,048 x 2,048 photon-counting CCD pixels. The source location accuracy is better than one arc-second. Pete Roming of Penn State University is the Lead Investigator;
Tansuo 2, also known as Shijan Weixing 2 and as Experimental Satellite 2, is a Chinese (PRC) 300 kg minisatellite that was launched by a Long March 2C rocket from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China on 18 November 2004. It will test some technology developments, and will also survey and monitor the geographical environment. The initial orbital parameters were period 98.8 min, apogee 711.4 km, perigee 695.2 km, and inclination 98.1°.
Navstar 56, also known as USA 180 and as GPS 2R-13, is an American navigational satellite that was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 05:39 UT on 6 November 2004. It is part of the 24-element GPS fleet and will replace the oldest member of the fleet, GPS 2A-11 launched in July 1991. It will be located in Plane D, Slot 1. The initial orbital parameters were period 715.1 min, apogee 20,412 km, perigee 19,810 km, and inclination 54.8°.
Ziyuan-2 3 also known as ZY-2 3 is a Chinese (PRC) Earth Resources satellite that was launched by a Long March 4-B rocket at "11:10 a.m." on 6 November 2004 from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern China's Shanxi province. It is the third in the Ziyuan-2 series. It is expected to enable better land surveying, crop yield assessment, and disaster monitoring. The initial orbital parameters were period 94.2 min, apogee 483 km, perigee 472 km, and inclination 97.3°.

C. Spacecraft Particularly Suited for International Participation

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.

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 54, 2004-009A.

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.

Visually bright objects.

See Users must register. Conditions apply.

Actual decays/landings of payload spacecraft and rocket bodies (R/B) only. No further information is available.

Designations         Common Name                  Decay Date (2004)

1993-025D (22636)  R/B(2) Molniya                    15 November
1994-058A (23249)  TELSTAR 402                       14 November
2004-039A (28424)  FSW-3 3                           09 November
2004-033A (28402)  FSW-3 2                           07 November
2004-043B (28464)  R/B(1) Proton-M                   01 November

60-day Decay Predictions.

See Users must register for access. Conditions apply

Miscellaneous Items.

Major Satellite Launch Centers:

      Name               Country       Latitude     Longitude      Comments

      Cape Canaveral      USA            28.5 N      80.6 W
      Vandenberg AFB      USA            34.7 N     120.6 W  High-Inclination orbits
      Wallops             USA            36.9 N      75.5 W

      Kaputsin Yar        Russia         48.4 N      45.8 E  Inactive since '87
      Plesetsk            Russia         62.8 N      40.4 E  High-Inclination orbits
      Baikonur            Kazakhstan     45.6 N      63.2 E  a.k.a Tyuratam

      Kourou              Fr. Guiana/ESA  5.1 N      52.4 W

      Tanegashima         Japan          30.2 N      30.6 E
      Kagoshima           Japan          31.3 N     131.0 E

      Sriharikota         India          13.9 N      80.3 E

      Xichang             China (PRC)    28.3 N     102.2 E
      Taiyuan             China (PRC)    37.5 N     112.6 E
      Shuang Cheng Tzu    China (PRC)    40.6 N      99.9 E  a.k.a Jiquan

      San Marco           Kenya & Italy   2.9 N      40.3 E  A platform on ocean

      Yavne               Israel         31.5 N      34.5 E  Retrograde orbits

      Woomera             Australia      31.1 S     136.8 E  Suborbitals only since 1970.

      Odyssey             USA/Russia      0.0       154.0 W  Platform on Pacific

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:

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