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SPACEWARN
Bulletin
A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 641
01 April 2007

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 01 March 2007 and 31 March 2007.

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

  COSPAR/WWAS USSTRATCOM  SPACECRAFT              LAUNCH
    INT.ID    CAT. #      NAME                   DATE (UT)
  ----------------------------------------------------------------
   2007-007B    30794     Skynet 5A             11 March 2007
   2007-007A    30793     Insat 4B              11 March 2007
   2007-006F    30777     CFESat                09 March 2007
   2007-006E    30776     FalconSat 3           09 March 2007
   2007-006D    30775     STPSat 1              09 March 2007
   2007-006C    30774     OE-NEXTSAT            09 March 2007
   2007-006B    30773     MidSTAR 1             09 March 2007
   2007-006A    30772     OE-ASTRO              09 March 2007

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

2007-007B
Skynet 5A is a geostationary British military communications craft that was launched by an Ariane 5-ECA rocket from Kourou at 22:03 UT on 11 March 2007. The 4.7 tonne craft is reported to be well-hardened against impacts and is capable of repelling jamming attacks. It will be parked at 1.0° W longitude.
2007-007A
Insat 4B is an Indian (ISRO) geostationary communications craft that was launched by an Ariane 5-ECA rocket from Kourou at 22:03 UT on 11 March 2007. The 3.1 tonne, 5.9 kW craft carries 12 Ku-band and 12 C-band transponders to provide direct-to-home voice and video communications throughout India after parking over 93.5° E longitude. It attained geostationary altitude on 16 March, and is being slowly drifted to its final longitude.
2007-006F
CFESat is an American military (DARPA) microsatellite that was launched by an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 03:10 UT on 09 March 2007. The 156 kg craft, built by LANL, will test technology advances such as an on-board supercomputer to process the data. The initial orbital parameters were period 95.9 min, apogee 563 km, perigee 558 km, and inclination 35.4°.
2007-006E
FalconSat 3 is an American military (DARPA) picosatellite that was launched by an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 03:10 UT on 09 March 2007. The 54 kg craft, built by USAF Academy cadets will monitor the ambient plasma, and test a micropropulsion attitude control system. The initial parameters were period 95.8 min, apogee 560 km, perigee 558 km, and inclination 35.4°.
2007-006D
STPSat 1 is an American military (DARPA) microsatellite that was launched by an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 03:10 UT on 09 March 2007. The 158 kg microsatellite will collect atmospheric data and demonstrate spacecraft technology advances. The initial orbital parameters were period 95.8 min, apogee 561 km, perigee 558 km, and inclination 35.4°.
2007-006C
OE-NEXTSAT is an American military (DARPA) minisatellite that was launched by an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 03:10 UT on 09 March 2007. The 226 kg craft (like OE-ASTRO) is intended to test capabilities for autonomous rendezvous, refueling and component replacement. The initial orbital parameters were period 94.5 min, apogee 499 km, perigee 491 km, and inclination 46.03°.
2007-006B
MidSTAR 1 is an American military (DARPA) microsatellite that was launched by an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 03:10 UT on 09 March 2007. The 118 kg craft will test in space NASA's electrochemical membranes, and a microdosimeter sponsored by the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI). The initial orbital parameters were period 94.5 min, apogee 499 km, perigee 494 km, and inclination 46.03°.
2007-006A
OE-ASTRO is an American military (DARPA) satellite that was launched by an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 03:10 UT on 09 March 2007. The 952 kg craft, like its smaller companion, (OE-NEXTSAT) will test capabilities for autonomous rendezvous, refueling, and component replacement. The initial orbital parameters were period 94.5 min, apogee 499 km, perigee 491 km and inclination 46.03°.

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:    igscb.jpl.nasa.gov  [directory /igscb]
     WWW:    http://igscb.jpl.nasa.gov/
     E-mail: igscb@cobra.jpl.nasa.gov

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:

http://www.colorado.edu/geography/gcraft/notes/gps/gps_f.html

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: http://www.glonass-ianc.rsa.ru/ maintained by the Information-Analytical Center (IAC), Russian Space Agency.

According to CSIC the latest additions to the fleet are 2006-062A, 2006-062B, and 2006-062C.

Visually bright objects.

See http://www.space-track.org/perl/bulk_files.pl. 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)

2006-045A (29503)    PROGRESS-M 58                    28 March
2004-009C (28192)    R/B(2) Delta 2                   19 March
1978-067A (10973)    COSMOS 1025                      10 March
2006-055B (29660)    MEPSI                            08 March

60-day Decay Predictions.

See http://www.space-track.org/perl/60day_decay_predict.pl. 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.

The launch on 20 March from the Marshall Islands by a private company, SpaceX, with financial support from NASA, to test its automatic cargo delivery craft failed. Falcon 1 was to be one of the candidates for supplying cargo to the International Space Station (ISS). When it reached an altitude of about 300 km during the second stage burn, the control system failed, plunging the rocket into the Pacific Ocean.

SPACEWARN Bulletin 640 had assigned the names THEMIS 1 through 5 for what the USSTRATCOM had listed as Object A through E (2007-004A through 2007-004E). USSTRATCOM subsequently assigned the names as THEMIS A through E, rather than what the THEMIS mission had named THEMIS 1 through 5.

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:
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/space/

For off-line data, please contact the Request Office, NSSDC, Code 690.1, NASA GSFC, Greenbelt, Maryland 20771, U.S.A., for specific information (nssdc-request@listserv.gsfc.nasa.gov). 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:
http://nssdcftp.gsfc.nasa.gov/miscellaneous/orbits/

Other files of interest for Earth-centered spacecraft can be generated via the URL,
http://sscweb.gsfc.nasa.gov/

Programs related to the heliospheric spacecraft trajectories can be executed through the URL:
http://cohoweb.gsfc.nasa.gov/helios/heli.html

Magnetospheric, Planetary, and Astronomical science data from many spacecraft may be accessed through links from the URL:
http://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nmc/

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