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A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 640
01 March 2007

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 01 February 2007 and 28 February 2007.

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

    INT.ID    CAT. #      NAME                   DATE (UT)
   2007-005B    30587     IGS 4B                24 February 2007
   2007-005A    30586     IGS 4A                24 February 2007
   2007-004E    30584     THEMIS 5              17 February 2007
   2007-004D    30583     THEMIS 4              17 February 2007
   2007-004C    30582     THEMIS 3              17 February 2007
   2007-004B    30581     THEMIS 2              17 February 2007
   2007-004A    30580     THEMIS 1              17 February 2007
   2007-003A    30323     Beidou 2A             02 February 2007

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

2007-005A,   2007-005B
IGS 4A and IGS 4B (Information Gathering Satellites 4A and 4B) are a pair of Japanese military reconnaissance satellites that were launched by an H-2 rocket from Tanegashima Space Center at 04:41 UT on 24 February 2007. They are intended to provide early warning of impending hostile launches in the neighborhood. One of them uses a radar and the other optical telescopes to sight such launches, but the capabilities are not matched to the names. The initial orbital parameters of both are similar: period 94.4 min, apogee 494 km, perigee 481 km, and inclination 97.2°.
2007-004A, 2007-004B, 2007-004C, 2007-004D, 2007-004E
THEMIS 1, THEMIS 2, THEMIS 3, THEMIS 4, and THEMIS 5 are a fleet of American (NASA) magnetospheric satellites that were launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 23:01 UT on 17 February 2007. Each satellite has a mass of 126 kg (including 49 kg of fuel) and carries identical instrumentation. The mission consists of several phases. In the first phase, they will all orbit as a tight cluster in the same orbital plane with apogee at 15.4 Earth radii (RE). In the second phase, also called the Dawn Phase, the apogee of THEMIS 1 will be at 30 RE, of THEMIS 2 at 20 RE, of THEMIS 3 and 4 at 12 RE, and of THEMIS 5 at 10 RE. The orbits will continue to be in the dawn-dusk plane, approximately. Because of the Earth's rotation around the Sun, during the third phase (also known as the Tail Phase) the orbits will be in the noon-midnight plane, with all apogees on the night side at the same altitudes as during the second phase. The fourth phase is called the Dusk Phase, with all apogees on the dusk side, and at the same altitudes as in the third phase. In the fifth and final phase, the apogees will shift to the sunward side. In all phases the perigee will remain at around 450 km, and inclination at about 16°. For the on-going changes to the orbital parameters, see the USSTRATCOM site at
The Principal Investigator is Vassillis Angelopoulos of the University of California-Berkeley (UCB). The Project Scientist is David Sibeck of NASA Goddard. The following are the instruments on each spacecraft.
The EFI (Electric Field Instrument) carries three dipoles, one in the axial direction and two orthogonal ones in the spin plane. The lead scientist is J. Bonnell of UCB.
The FGM (Flux Gate Magnetometer) is capable of measuring the magnitude of the magnetic field and its fluctuations (<64 Hz) at an accuracy of 0.01 nT. The lead investigator is K. H. Glassmeier of the Technical University of Braunschweig (TU-BS), Germany.
The SCM (Search Coil Magnetometer) measures the waves in the frequency range 0.1 to 4 kHz in three directions. The lead investigator is A. Roux of the Center for Environments of Terrestrial Planets (CEPT), France.
ESA (Electro-Static Analyzers) is a pair of particle detectors, one for the electrons and the other for the ions. They measure the energetic particle fluxes from each direction in the range 3 eV to 30 keV, enabling the derivation of density, temperature and bulk-flow velocities. The lead investigator is C. W. Carlson, UCB.
SST (Solid State Telescopes) measures the more energetic particles in the energy range 25 keV to 6 MeV, specifying the energy and direction of each particle. The lead investigator is D. Larson, UCB.
Complementing the satellite-borne instruments are 20 white-light camera stations and 21 magnetometer stations in Canada and Alaska. The lead investigator for the camera chain is S. Mende, UCB, and for the magnetometer chain is C. T. Russell, UCLA. Further details of the mission may be seen at
The initial orbital parameters of all in the cluster were period 1,870 min, apogee 87,330 km, perigee 470 km, and inclination 16.0°.
Beidou 2A is a Chinese experimental navigational satellite that was launched by a Long March 3-A rocket from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in Sichuan Province at 16:28 UT on 02 February 2007. It is the fourth member of the experimental Beidou fleet, preparatory to a full-fledged Compass Navigation Satellite System (CNSS) to be established by 2008. Beidou 2A will provide locations for land- and sea-based transportation, and disaster management. The initial orbital parameters were period 749 min, apogee 41,688 km, perigee 186 km, and inclination 25°.

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 SPACEWARN Bulletin No. 545. The list will not be repeated in future issues until significantly revised.

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 59, 2006-052A.

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.

According to CSIC the latest additions to the fleet are Glonass 717, Glonass 715, and Glonass 716. Their International IDs are 2006-062A, 2006-062B, and 2006-062C, respectively.

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 (2007)

2006-055G (29665)    ANDE CYLINDER 2                  09 February
1991-010D (21114)    R/B (Aux.Mot)                    30 January

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.

On 30 January 2007, the launch of NSS-8 satellite from the floating platform, Odyssey failed. The Zenith 3SL rocket exploded soon after launch.

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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