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A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 614
01 Jan. 2005

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 01 December 2004 and 31 December 2004.

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

USSPACECOM Catalog numbers are in parentheses.

    INT.ID    CAT. #      NAME                   DATE (UT)
   2004-053C   (28510)    Cosmos NNNN           26 December 2004
   2004-053B   (28509)    Cosmos NNNN           26 December 2004
   2004-053A   (28508)    Cosmos NNNN           26 December 2004
   2004-052C   (28507)    Mikron (KS5MF2)       24 December 2004
   2004-052A   (28505)    SICH 1M               24 December 2004
   2004-051A   (28503)    Progress-M 51         23 December 2004
   2004-050A   (28500)    USA 181               21 December 2004
   2004-049G   (28498)    PARASOL               18 December 2004
   2004-049F   (28497)    ESSAIM 4              18 December 2004
   2004-049E   (28496)    ESSAIM 3              18 December 2004
   2004-049D   (28495)    ESSAIM 2              18 December 2004
   2004-049C   (28494)    ESSAIM 1              18 December 2004
   2004-049B   (28493)    Nanosat 1             18 December 2004
   2004-049A   (28492)    Helios 2A             18 December 2004
   2004-048A   (28472)    AMC 16                17 December 2004
   1997-061C     N/A      Huygens               25 December 2004

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

Cosmos NNNN, Cosmos NNNN, and Cosmos NNNN are the latest of the Russian satellites to join the GLONASS fleet of navigational satellites (See Sec. C-3 for information on the fleet.) They were launched by a Proton-K rocket from Baikonur at 01:54 UT on 26 December 2004. The Cosmos numbers are yet to be ascertained and matched with the IDs. They will probably be from among Cosmos 2411, 2412, and 2413. But the three have GLONASS numbers, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense website: GLONASS 712, GLONASS 796, and GLONASS 797 will be placed, respectively, in Slots 1, 7, and 8 of Plane 1. The initial orbital parameters of all three satellites were close: period 673 min, apogee 19,145 km, perigee 19,137 km, and inclination 64.85°.
Mikron, also known as KS5MF2, is a Russo-Ukrainian Earth surveying mini-satellite that was launched by a Tsyklon 3 rocket from Plesetsk at 11:20 UT on 24 December. It carried imaging instruments to survey the surface environment and locate natural disasters. The initial orbital parameters were period 94 min, apogee 636 km, perigee 282 km, and inclination 82.6°.
SICH 1M is a Russo-Ukrainian Earth surveying mini-satellite that was launched by a Tsyklon 3 rocket from Plesetsk at 11:20 UT on 24 December 2004. It carried imaging instruments to survey the surface environment and locate natural disasters. The initial orbital parameters were period 94 min, apogee 637 km, perigee 281 km, and inclination 82.6°.
Progress-M 51 is a Russian automatic cargo craft that was launched toward the International Space Station (ISS) by a Soyuz-U rocket from Baikonur at 22:19 UT on 23 December 2004. It carried 2.5 tonnes of food, water, fuel and equipment and docked automatically with the Zvezda module of the ISS at 23:31 UT on 25 December 2004. The initial orbital parameters were period 92 min, apogee 356 km, perigee 351 km, and inclination 51.6°.
USA 181, also named Demosat is a dummy/mockup of an American military satellite that was launched by a Delta 4-Heavy (720 tonne, 23-story high) rocket on a maiden flight at 21:50 UT on 21 December 2004. With a mass of 6.1 tonnes, and a cylindrical size of 2 m height and 1.4 m diameter, it has an outer aluminum skin enclosing sixty 13.7 cm diameter brass rods, both designed to ensure complete burn-out of the craft during reentry. The dummy carried two 15 kg, nano-satellites named 3CSAT 1 (also known as Sparky) and 3CSAT 2 (also known as Ralphie) built by Universities in Arizona and Colorado states, but their releases from Demosat have not been ascertained so far. The cryogenic upper stage failed to inject the satellite into a geostationary orbit. The parameters of the orbit remained with period 1,045 min, apogee 36,420 km, perigee 19,041 km, and inclination 13.5°.
Nanosat 1, ESSAIM 1, ESSAIM 2, ESSAIM 3, ESSAIM 4, and PARASOL are six small satellites that were launched by an Ariane 5G rocket from Kourou at 16:26 UT on 18 December 2004.
Nanosat 1, a Spanish nanosatellite, is a 15 kg, 20 W craft that will help maintain contact with the Spanish zone in Antarctica.
ESSAIM 1, 2, 3, and 4 are French military microsatellites, each of mass 120 kg. They are demonstration models to map the "electro-magnetic environment of the Earth's surface". The design of the next generation ESSAIMs will be based on the performance of the models.
PARASOL (Polarization and Anisotropy of Reflectances for Atmospheric Science coupled with Observations from LIDAR) is a French (CNES) mini-satellite of mass 120 kg that will provide data on the physical properties of clouds and aerosols.
The orbital parameters of all these six microsatellites were close: period 98 min, apogee 666 km, perigee 657 km, and inclination 98.1°.
Helios 2A is a French, military, photo-reconnaissance satellite that was launched by an Ariane 5G rocket from Kourou at 16:26 UT on 18 December 2004. It is the first of such satellites to provide the European Union an independent military intelligence capability. The 4.2 tonne satellite carries imagers in the visible and infrared bands. The initial orbital parameters were period 98 min, apogee 683 km, perigee 681 km, and inclination 98.1°.
AMC 16 is an American geostationary communications satellite that was launched by an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 12:07 UT on 17 December 2004. It carries 24 Ku-band transponders to provide direct to home video communications to all of North America, after parking over 85° W longitude.
Huygens is a atmospheric probe that was released from Cassini spacecraft (1997-061A) that was orbiting around Saturn, towards its satellite, Titan at 03:24 UT on 25 December 2004. It will reach Titan's surface around 14 January 2005. For more details of the probe's instruments and performance, see SPX.528, and

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)

2001-037F (26897)  R/B(Aux.Mot.)                     19 December
2004-053D (28511)  R/B(1)                            27 December
2004-051B (28504)  R/B                               26 December
2004-047B (28486)  R/B Delta 2                       23 December
2004-032A (28399)  PROGRESS-M 50                     22 December
1990-101D (20952)  R/B Molniya                       15 December
2003-020B (27812)  R/B Atlas 5                       12 December
2000-060B (26560)  R/B Ariane 42L                    12 December
1976-066C (09017)  R/B(2) Delta 1                    06 December

60-day Decay Predictions.

See Users must register for access. Conditions apply

Miscellaneous Items.

Cosmos Number Sequence:

It appears that sometimes a spacecraft with a given Cosmos Number is later renamed as something else, thereby facilitating a "recycle" of that number for a future satellite. Dr. Dieter Kaemmer of Pharmaplant Company, Germany, has kindly alerted us that according to the Russian journal Novosti Kosmonavtiki (31 May 2004), Cosmos 2405 was renamed Molniya 1T-93, and Cosmos 2406 as Raduga 1-7. This entailed the next Cosmos to become Cosmos 2405. Looking back, this renaming process may account for other duplicated Cosmos numbers, if any, in the past.

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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