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A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 646
01 September 2007

SPACEWARN Activities

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

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

International ID
Catalog Number
Spacecraft Name Launch Date (UT)
2007-036B 32019 BSAT-3A 14 August 2007
2007-036A 32018 SPACEWAY 3 14 August 2007
2007-035A 32008 STS 118 08 August 2007
2007-034A 32003 Phoenix 04 August 2007
2007-033A 32001 Progress-M 61 02 August 2007

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

BSAT-3A is a Japanese geostationary communications satellite that was launched by an Ariane 5-ECA rocket from Kourou at 23:44 UT on 14 August 2007. The 1.98 tonne (with fuel) craft carries twelve 130 W Ku-band transponders to provide direct-to-home high definition television programs to the entire nation, after parking over 110°E longitude. It joins a fleet of four other such BSAT Corporation satellites.
SPACEWAY 3 is an American geostationary communications craft that was launched by an Ariane 5-ECA rocket from Kourou at 23:44 UT on 14 August 2007. The 6.1 tonne (with fuel) satellite carries several Ka-band transponders to provide television coverage to all of North America through orientable spot-beams, after parking over 95°W longitude.
STS 118 is an American shuttle craft that was launched at 22:37 UT on 08 August 2007 from Cape Canaveral. It carried seven astronauts (six American and one Canadian) to the International Space Station (ISS) and docked with the ISS at 17:53 UT on 10 August 2007. The astronauts made three spacewalks to install a 1.6 tonne truss that extends the station, to replace a defective gyroscope, and to install a 3.1 tonne external equipment storage platform. They also delivered 2.7 tonnes of food, fuel, and equipment. (A fourth spacewalk was considered, but not executed, to repair a deep 9 cm2 gouge in the shuttle's heat tiles, that was caused by an insulation piece from the external fuel tank during launch.) The shuttle, with all the astronauts, returned to Cape Canaveral at 16:32 UT on 21 August 2007. The initial orbital parameters were period 91.4 min, apogee 348 km, perigee 337 km, and inclination 51.6°.
Phoenix, also known as Phoenix Mars Lander, is an American (NASA) planetary mission that was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 09:36 UT on 04 August 2007. The 5.5 m x 1.5 m, 350 kg craft carries science instruments weighing 55 kg to analyze soil samples. The craft carries a 2.35 m robotic arm to vertically penetrate the iced soil in the Martian Arctic at a site 68.35°N and 233°E. A parachute will enable smooth landing. The landing is scheduled for 25 May 2008. The soil samples will be injected into an on-board oven, and the vapors will be analyzed chemically or by a mass-spectrometer. The multi-spectral instruments will provide data on the nearby surface minerals and the atmospheric composition out to an altitude of 20 km. Peter H. Smith of the University of Arizona is the Principal Investigator, and heads the mission's Science Operation Center at the University of Arizona. The project is managed by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California. More details may be perused at
Progress-M 61, also named as Progress 26, is a Russian automatic cargo transport craft that was launched from Baikonur at 17:34 UT on 02 August 2007. It carried 2.3 tonnes of food, fuel, air, and water to the International Space Station (ISS), and docked with the Zvezda module of the ISS at 18:40 UT on 05 August 2007. In anticipation of its arrival, the previously docked Progress-M 59, carrying tonnes of garbage, was ejected at 18:07 UT on 02 August to let it deorbit and burn in the atmosphere after five hours. The initial orbital parameters of Progress-M 61 were period 91.4 min, apogee 347 km, perigee 336 km, and inclination 51.63°.

C. Spacecraft Particularly Suited for International Participation

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 2006-062A, 2006-062B, and 2006-062C.

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)

2007-022A (31595)    COSMOS 2427                      22 August
2007-035A (32008)    STS 118  Landed back on          21 August
2007-023B (31599)    R/B Delta 2                      16 August
2007-033B (32002)    R/B Soyuz                        06 August

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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