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A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 624
01 November 2005

SPACEWARN Activities

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

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

    INT.ID    CAT. #      NAME                   DATE (UT)
   2005-042A    28888     USA 186               19 October 2005
   2005-041B    28885     Syracuse 3A           13 October 2005
   2005-041A    28884     Galaxy 15             13 October 2005
   2005-040A    28879     Shenzhou 6            12 October 2005
   2005-039A    28877     Soyuz-TMA 7           01 October 2005

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

USA 186 is an American military reconnaissance craft that was launched by a Titan 4B rocket from Vandenberg AFB at 18:05 UT on 19 October 2005. It marks the end of the Titan 4 era which began in 1986 soon after the Challenger tragedy so as to free the Pentagon from dependency on NASA's Shuttles. Neither the payload nor the orbital information is available for this NRO-commissioned mission.
Syracuse 3A is a French geostationary military communications craft that was launched by an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou at 22:32 UT on 13 October 2005. No additional information is available.
Galaxy 15 is an American geostationary communications satellite that was launched by an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou at 22:32 UT on 13 October 2005. The 1,760 kg satellite carries 24 C-band transponders, and a few in L-band to provide direct-to-home video entertainment and information after parking, probably, at 72°W longitude. It will also relay GPS transmissions to aircraft to facilitate their landing.
Shenzhou 6 (meaning Divine Ship) is a Chinese passenger craft that was launched by a Long March 2F rocket from Jiuquan in northwest China at 01:00 UT on 12 October 2005. It carried two Chinese astronauts in the re-entry capsule, also named as Shenzhou 6, to orbit around for about five days. The re-entry capsule separated from the orbiter module and parachuted down on Inner Mongolia on 16 October 2005 at 20:32 UT. The orbiter module continued to do scientific research. The initial orbital parameters were period 91.46 min, apogee 350 km, perigee 342 km, and inclination 42.4°.
Soyuz-TMA 7 is a Russian passenger transportation craft that was launched by a Soyuz-FG rocket from Baikonur at 03:55 UT on 01 October 2005. It carried a Russian and an American astronaut, and a tourist from America to the International Space Station (ISS). It docked with the Pirs module at 05:30 UT on 03 October automatically. The astronauts did some space-walks; the tourist grew some crystals. The previously docked Soyuz-TMA 6 separated from the ISS, and soft-landed in Kazakhstan at 04:08 UT on 10 October, returning that tourist and the two previous astronauts who had inhabited the ISS for six months. The initial orbital parameters of Soyuz-TMA 7 were period 91.47 min, apogee 347 km, perigee 346 km, and inclination 51.64°.

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 57, 2005-038A.

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)

2005-022B (28703)   R/B Zenit 3SL                    20 October
1998-077H (25600)   R/B (Aux.Mot) Proton-K           19 October
2004-042B (28452)   R/B Long March 3A                17 October
2005-033A (28824)   FSW-3 5                          17 October
2005-027A (28776)   FSW-3 4                          16 October
2005-034A (28841)   COSMOS 2415                      16 October
1999-060B (25955)   R/B Ariane 44LP                  15 October
2005-013A (28640)   SOYUZ-TMA 6                      11 October
2004-052C (28507)   MK-1TS (aka MIKRON)              30 September

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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