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A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 626
01 January 2006

SPACEWARN Activities

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

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

    INT.ID    CAT. #      NAME                   DATE (UT)
   2005-052A    28924    AMS 23                29 December 2005
   2005-051A    28922    GIOVE-A               28 December 2005
   2005-050C    28917    Cosmos 2417           25 December 2005
   2005-050B    28916    Cosmos 2418           25 December 2005
   2005-050A    28915    Cosmos 2419           25 December 2005
   2005-049B    28912    MSG 2                 21 December 2005
   2005-049A    28911    INSAT 4A              21 December 2005
   2005-048B    28909    Rodnik                21 December 2005
   2005-048A    28908    Gonets-D1M 1          21 December 2005
   2005-047A    28906    Progress-M 55         21 December 2005

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

AMS 23, with a pre-launch name of WorldSat 3, is an American geostationary communications satellite that was launched by a Proton-M rocket from Baikonur at 02:28 UT on 29 December 2005. The five tonne craft carries 20 high-power Ku-band, and 18 C-band transponders to provide voice, video and internet services to the Asia-Pacific region after parking over 172°E longitude.
GIOVE-A (Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element) is a an European (ESA) navigational satellite. The 600 kg satellite was launched by a Soyuz-Fregat rocket from Baikonur at 05:19 UT on 28 December 2005. It is the first member of a planned fleet of 30 Galileo satellites to operate independent of the American GPS and the Russian GLONASS fleets, though quite compatible with either. (The ESA fleet may involve technical/financial participation by India and China. Unlike the GPS and GLONASS, which are under military control, the Galileo fleet will be wholly civilian-controlled, with global access guaranteed to the public ("except in direst emergencies") and providing a one-meter resolution, comparable to the resolution of the other fleets that is available for their militaries. The full Galileo fleet will be completed by 2010. (ESA expects that the profits from the accesses through 2020 will total to about five-fold of the investment.) The initial orbit of GIOVE-A is circular, at an altitude of 23,613 km, with a period 841 min and inclination 56°.
2005-050A, 2005-050B, 2005-050C
Cosmos 2417 (GLONASS 798), Cosmos 2418 (GLONASS 2419), and Cosmos 2419 (GLONASS 714) are the latest three additions to the Russian GLONASS navigational fleet. They were launched by a Proton-K rocket from Baikonur at 05:07 UT on 25 December 2005. They will be positioned in Slot-3. For the status of the constellation, see The initial orbital parameters of the three were quite similar: period 675 min, apogee 19,125 km, perigee 19,116 km, and inclination 64.86°.
MSG 2 (Meteosat Second Generation 2) is a European (ESA) geostationary weather satellite, with operational control by the EUMETSAT organization. It was launched by an Ariane 5G rocket from Kourou at 22:33 UT on 21 December 2005. The two tonne, spin-stabilized craft carries two main instruments. SEVIRI (Spinning Enhanced Visible and InfraRed Imager) will provide images taken in four visible and eight infrared channels every 15 minutes, at a resolution of 1 km in visible light and 3 km in infrared. GERB (Geostationary Earth Radiation Budget) will monitor the energy balance between the incoming solar flux, and the outgoing infrared radiation. The craft will be renamed Meteosat 9 when it becomes operational in June 2006, after parking over 0.0° longitude. (There have been eight Meteosats in the first generation Meteosat series)
INSAT 4A is an Indian geostationary communications satellite that was launched by an Ariane 5G rocket from Kourou at 22:33 UT on 21 December 2005. The 3.1 tonne, 5.5 kW satellite carries 12 140 W Ku-band transponders and 12 63 W C-band transponders to provide Direct-to Home (DTH) data and TV services to India and neighboring countries, after parking over 83°E longitude
Rodnik, also listed as Cosmos 2416, is a Russian military satellite that was launched by a Kosmos-3M rocket from Plesetsk at 18:34 UT on 21 December 2005. The initial orbital parameters were period 114.7 min, apogee 1424 km, perigee 1414 km, and inclination 82.5°.
Gonets-D1M 1 is a Russian low-altitude communications satellite that was launched by a Kosmos-3M rocket from Plesetsk at 18:34 UT on 21 December 2005. It is the first of a fleet of 12 satellites in four planes. The 250 kg, 40 W craft is expected to serve some 30 Russian agencies and organizations with email and short messages. An earlier fleet of six Gonets-D1 satellites had served that role in the 1990s. The initial orbital parameters of Gonets-D1M 1 were period 114.7 min, apogee 1424 km, perigee 1414 km, and inclination 82.5°.
Progress-M 55 is a Russian automatic cargo craft that was launched by a Soyuz-U rocket from Baikonur at 18:38 UT on 21 December 2005. The 5.7 tonne craft (including 880 kg of propellant) carried 210 kg of water, 83 kg of air, and 1.4 tonne of equipment and spare parts to the International Space Station. Some of propellant will be transferred to the ISS for its maneuvering thrusters. It docked with the PIRS module of the ISS automatically at 19:56 UT on 23 December, and delivered the cargo.

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)

2005-025B (28774)   R/B M-5                           23 December
1989-016C (19824)   R/B(2) M-3S2                      17 December
2001-032A (26873)   CORONAS-F                         06 December
1986-103D (17267)   R/B(2) that launched MOLNIYA 1-70 06 December
1978-016C (12908)   R/B Atlas Centaur                 05 December
2005-023G (28713)   R/B (Aux.Mot) Proton-K            04 December

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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