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A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 619
01 June 2005

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 01 May 2005 and 31 May 2005.

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

    INT.ID    CAT. #      NAME                   DATE (UT)
   2005-020A    28686     Foton M-2             31 May 2005
   2005-019A    28659     DirecTV 8             22 May 2005
   2005-018A    28654     NOAA 18               20 May 2005
   2005-017B    28650     HAMSat                05 May 2005
   2005-017A    28649     CartoSat 1            05 May 2005

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

Foton M-2 is a Russian retrievable craft that was launched by a Soyuz-U rocket from Baikonur at 12:00 UT on 31 May 2005. The 6.3 tonne craft carries three modules: a spherical retrievable unit that houses several microgravity experiments, a battery pack, and a service module. The retrievable module carries several units totaling 550 kg to conduct 39 ESA-built experiments. Among them are experiments in physical sciences, biology, fluid mechanics, exobiology, material science, and technology demonstration. After orbiting for 16 days, the module will be parachuted to land in Russia on 16 June 2005 at 08:32 UT. The initial orbital parameters were period 93 min, apogee 302 km, perigee 261 km, and inclination 63°.
DirecTV 8 is an American geostationary communications satellite that was launched by a Proton-M rocket from Baikonur at 17:59 UT on 22 May 2005. The 3.7 tonne satellite carries 32 Ku-band and four Ka-band transponders to provide high definition TV after parking over 93° W longitude.
NOAA 18 is an American (NOAA) weather satellite that was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Vandenberg AFB at 10:22 UT. It carries several weather-related instruments, and one Space Environment monitor.
AVHRR-3, (Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer 3) is an 8-inch diameter, afocal Cassegrain telescope with a mirror that scans (cross-track) ±55° from nadir at a rate of six revolutions per second. The 35 kg, 105 K instrument provides radiometer data encompassing the full range of Earth-reflected visible light and Earth-emitted infrared light, in five wavelength channels.
HIRS 4 (High-resolution InfraRed Sounder 4) scans cross-track in 56 steps of 1.8° each to obtain in six seconds a full complement of spectral data in one visible, seven shortwave IR, and 12 longwave IR wavelengths, to enable derivation of Earth's atmospheric temperature profile, ocean surface temperature, total atmospheric ozone, and such.
AMSU-A (Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit-A) is a cross-track radiometer to measure the emissions from the atmosphere, by means of a beam of 3.3°, scanning ±48° from nadir. The 100 kg, 125 W instrument accommodates 15 wavelength channels between 100 and 200 GHz, to enable derivation of temperature and moisture profiles.
MHS (Microwave Humidity Sounder) is a cross-track scanning radiometer with four channels between 157 and 190 GHz and a fifth channel at 89 GHz. The frequencies are sensitive to liquid water droplets and enable derivation of humidity profiles and rain drop content.
SBUV-2 (Solid Backscatter Ultraviolet Radiometer 2) measures the ultraviolet radiance from the Sun and from the atmospheric backscatter in 12 channels covering the wavelength range of 252-340 nm. It also carries a Cloud Cover Radiometer (CCR) at the wavelength of 379 nm. It measures the total ozone content as well as its vertical density profile along the nadir.
SEM-2 (Space Environment Monitor 2) is intended to monitor the energetic electrons and protons in the radiation belt. TED (Total Energy Detector) captures the particles with energy in the 0.05-20.0 keV range, while MEPED (Medium Energy Proton Electron Detector) captures integral fluxes of the particles in range >0.03, >100, and >300 keV. SEM-2 is a small package with a mass of 15 kg and consuming 10 W.
In addition to those science packages, NOAA 18 also carries three Search and Rescue receivers at 121.5, 243.0, 406.05 MHz as a participant in the international COSPAS-SARSAT effort to locate people and vessels in distress.
The initial orbital parameters of NOAA 18 were period 102 min, apogee 866 km, perigee 847 km, and inclination 98.74°.
HAMSat is an Indian (ISRO) microsatellite that was launched by a PSLV-C6 rocket from Sriharikota on the southeastern coast of India at 04:44 UT on 05 May 2005. The 43 kg satellite will relay amateur VHF radio communications. The initial orbital parameters were period 97.24 min, apogee 646 km, perigee 608 km, and inclination 97.9°.
CartoSat 1 is an Indian (ISRO) mapping and remote-sensing satellite that was launched by a PSLV-C6 rocket from Sriharikota on the southeastern coast of India, at 04:44 UT on 05 May 2005. The 1.56 tonne satellite carries two f/4.5, Panchromatic cameras, one 26° ahead of the nadir, and another at 5° behind the nadir. Together they enable a stereoscopic image at a resolution of 2.5 m. Both cameras scan cross-track to image a swath of 30 km with the images being stored in a 12,000 pixel CCD. It stores the data in 120 GB memory to be downlinked over Indian (or Indonesian and Russian) passes. The data from the satellite will help in topographic mapping, land use, forest cover, and river flow assessment. The initial orbital parameters were period 97.1 min, apogee 622 km, perigee 620 km, and inclination 97.9°.

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 (2005)

2004-030B (28390)   R/B Delta 2                      02 May

60-day Decay Predictions.

See Users must register for access. Conditions apply

Miscellaneous Items.

This section contains information or data that are entered on occasion and may not be repeated in each issue of the SPACEWARN Bulletin.

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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