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A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 647
01 October 2007

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 01 September 2007 and 30 September 2007.

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

International ID
Catalog Number
Spacecraft Name Launch Date (UT)
2007-043A 32249 Dawn 27 September 2007
2007-042A 32062 CBERS 2B 19 September 2007
2007-041A 32060 WorldView 1 18 September 2007
2007-040A 32058 Foton M-3 14 September 2007
2007-039C 32056 VRAD 14 September 2007
2007-039B 32055 RSAT 14 September 2007
2007-039A 32054 Kaguya 14 September 2007
2007-038A 32052 Cosmos 2429 11 September 2007
2007-037A 32050 Insat 4CR 02 September 2007

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

Dawn is an American (NASA) planetary mission that was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 12:34 UT on 27 September 2007. It is to visit two nearby asteroids, Vesta and Ceres, and transmit multi-color images of them. Ceres is the larger one and probably carries a trapped ice layer beneath the hard, spherical, rocky surface. Vesta is an approximately spherical rock, badly damaged by collision with another body.
After a Mars-flyby for gravity assisted speed in February 2009, Dawn will head towards Vesta and orbit around it from August 2011 through May 2012. Orbital motion and control will be enabled by gentle but continuously operating solar powered xenon ion-thrusters. Exiting Vesta orbit, Dawn will travel to Ceres and orbit around it during February 2015 through July 2015 when the mission will end. The 1,818 kg craft carries the following three major instruments.
Framing Camera is an imaging camera in the visible light band. It was built by the Max Plank Institut fur Sonnensystemforschung Germany.
VIR (Visual and Infrared) Spectrometer will provide spectral data of the surface minerals in the two wavelength bands. It was provided by the Italian INAF (Instituto Nazionale di Astrofisica).
GRaND (Gamma Ray and Neutron Detector) will enable detection of gamma rays and neutrons from the radioactive isotopes on the surface. It was provided by the Los Alamos National Laboratory in America.
The Principal Investigator is Chris Russell of the UCLA. Kayur Patel of NASA/JPL is the Project Manager. For more information, see, and
CBERS 2B (China-Brazil Earth Resources Satellite 2B), also known as Zi Yuan 2B, is a China-Brazil joint craft that was launched by a Long March 4B rocket from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in Shanxi province at 03:26 UT on 19 September 2007. The 1.5 tonne, 1.8 m x 2.0 m x 2.2 m, triaxially-stabilized craft carries a low 20 m resolution, and a higher 2.5 m resolution camera. The data will help in crop estimation, urban planning, water resource management, and military intelligence. The initial orbital parameters were period 100.3 min, apogee 774 km, perigee 773 km, and inclination 98.6°.
WorldView 1 is an American (commercial) imaging craft that was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Vandenberg AFB at 18:35 UT on 18 September 2007. The 2.5 tonne craft carries a camera to provide 0.5 m resolution panchromatic images and two meter resolution multicolor images. The American government (National Imagery and Mapping Agency (NIMA)), will be among the primary customers. The initial orbital parameters were period 94.5 min, apogee 495 km, perigee 493 km, and inclination 97.5°.
Foton M-3 is a European (ESA) mission (carrying a recoverable capsule) that was launched by a Soyuz-U rocket from Baikonur at 11:00 UT on 14 September 2007. The 6.4 tonne, 6.2 m high and 2.5 m diameter satellite carries a 2.5 tonne capsule that will be released after many orbits. Also carried onboard is a 35 kg, student-built module named YES2 (Young Engineers Satellite 2) that was to be released on 25 September, a 6 kg picosatellite dangling down a 30 km, 0.5 mm thick Dyneema tether. However, the tether could be unrolled to only 8.5 km. The experiment failed. On-board the recoverable capsule was an experimental payload of 400 kg, for microgravity fluid physics and crystal growth experiments, and radiation tests on living bodies, including 10 gerbils. The initial orbital parameters of Foton M-3 were period 90 min, apogee 280 km, perigee 258 km, and inclination 63°. The capsule made a successful landing on the Russian-Kazakhstan border on 26 September 2007.
VRAD is a 50 kg Japanese subsatellite of Kaguya (see 2007-039A). It will be released from Kaguya after it attains lunar orbit. It will enable precise lunar gravity determination by acting as a "radio star" to be tracked by the five Earth-based VLBI (Very Long Baseline Interferometer) stations. Its precise orbital positions can help unfold the gravity field of the Moon. Hideo Hanada of NAO is the Principal Investigator. It will be a polar orbiter with apolune at 800 km, and perilune at 100 km.
RSAT is a Japanese subsatellite of Kaguya (see 2007-039A). It will be released from Kaguya after it attains lunar orbit. The 50 kg relay satellite is essentially intended to maintain communications link between Earth and Kaguya. The Principal Investigator is Noriyuki Namiki of Kyushu University. It will have a polar orbit, with apolune at 2400 km, and perilune at 100 km.
Kaguya, also known by its pre-launch name SELENE, is a Japanese (JAXA) lunar orbiter that was launched by a H-2A rocket from Tanegashima Island at 01:31 UT on 14 September 2007. The 2.9 tonne, 3.5 kW, 2.1 m x 2.1 m x 4.8 m polar orbiter carries many instruments to obtain detailed knowledge of the lunar surface topography and its mineral composition. After it attained lunar orbit, it ejected two "subsatellites" which will orbit at higher altitudes than the circular 100 km altitude of Kaguya. These 50 kg subsatellites are named RSAT (2007-039B) and VRAD (2007-039C). The following are the instruments on-board Kaguya:
XRS (X-Ray Spectrometer) will monitor the characteristic X-rays from the lunar surface when the solar X-ray-excited minerals revert to the ground state. It has a collection area of 100 cm2 made up of 16 CCDs. The monitor, called XRF-A, is among the three that form the XRS. Simultaneously, the incident solar X-rays will also be monitored by the SOL-B instrument with two small silicon diodes. The calibrating unit is called SOL-C. Manabu Kato of JAXA/ISAS is the Principal Investigator.
LALT (Laser ALTimeter) is a 20 kg pulsing instrument, putting out 100 mJ pulses at 1,066 nm wavelength, once a second. It can provide the nadir distance at an accuracy of five meters. Hiroshi Araki of Rise Project Office, NAO is the Principal Investigator.
LISM (Lunar Imager and SpectroMeter) consists of three instruments. One of them is TC (Terrain Camera) which images the surface stereographically, with the two telescopes looking down at 19° apart, along track, at the wavelength band of 0.43-0.85 microns. MI (Multiband Imager) is a stereographic imager at a separation angle of about 11°, but with filters at nine wavelengths spanning 0.41-1.55 microns. Finally, SP (Spectral Profiler) is a nadir-looking telescope with a field of view of 0.23°, imaging at 0.52-0.96, 0.9-1.7, and 1.7-2.6 micron bands. Jun-Ichi Haruyama of JAXA/ISAS, Makiko Ohtake of JAXA/ISAS, and Tsuneo Matsunaga of NIES/CGER are the Principal Investigators, respectively of TC, MI, and SP.
CPS (Charged Particle Spectrometer) consists of two instruments. ARD will monitor the lunar surface emissions of alpha particles from Rn and Po. PS will monitor the solar and galactic electrons, protons, and light and heavy ions by four silicon detectors offering E and dE/dx targets. Takeshi Takashima of JAXA/ISAS is the Principal Investigator.
HDTV is a high-definition television camera of mass 16.5 kg, and 50 W power consumption, and consists of a telephoto (15° FoV) and a wide-angle telescope (44° FoV), backed by an array of 2.2 million pixels. Junichi Yamazaki of NHK is the Principal Investigator.
GRS (Gamma Ray Spectrometer): Cosmic rays that bombard the lunar surface generate neutrons below the surface. These neutrons, in turn, are captured by the surface atoms engendering characteristic gamma rays. The GRS has a cryogenically (-180° C) cooled germanium semiconductor that detects the rays in the 100-7,500 MeV band at a resolution of 3 kev. The abundance of ten different atoms can be determined. Nobuyuki Hasebe of Waseda University is the Principal Investigator.
LRS (Lunar Radar Sounder) is a 5 MHz transmitter that transmits and receives 800 W, 200 microsecond pulses to the surface. The frequency is low enough to penetrate to several kilometers below the surface and provide data on the subsoil status created during the last tens of millions years. The mass of the instrument is 23.182 kg with an average power consumption of 57 W. Takayuki Ono of JAXA is the Principal Investigator.
LMAG (Lunar Magnetometer) is located at the end of a light-weight 12 m boom, to monitor the magnetic field at an accuracy of 0.2 nT. Hideo Tsunakawa of the Tokyo Institute of Technology is the Principal Investigator.
PACE (Plasma energy Angle and Composition Experiment) consists of four monitors to monitor the fluxes of electrons and ions. ESA-S1 and ESA-S2 are electron spectrum analyzers that measure the 3-D distribution at energies below 15 keV. IMA and IEA provide the 3-D distribution function of ions below 28 keV/q. Many of the ions originate in the constant sputtering of the Moon by solar wind particles. Yoshifumi Saito of JAXA/ISAS is the Principal Investigator.
UPI (Upper-atmospheric Plasma Imager) has two telescopes. One in the extreme UV band, named TEX, will point to Earth every 10 minutes and image the plasmasphere with a field of view of 10 x 10 sq-deg. The images will be from O+ and He+ ions at 30.4 and 83.4 nm, respectively. The other, named TVIS, provides images of aurora in four visible bands covering 428-730 nm, through a FoV of 2.8 x 2.8 sq-deg. Ichiro Yoshikawa (Tokyo University) is the Principal Investigator.
Full details of these experiments are available at, and
Cosmos 2429 is a Russian military craft that was launched by a Kosmos 3M rocket from Plesetsk at 13:05 UT on 11 September 2007. The initial orbital parameters were period 104.8 min, apogee 1,010 km, perigee 956 km, inclination 83.0°.
Insat 4CR is an Indian geostationary communications satellite that was launched by a GLNV-F04 rocket from Sriharikota at 12:51 UT on 02 September 2007. The 2,130 kg (including fuel), 2.9 kW craft carries 12 high-power, Ku-band transponders provide direct-to-home television to India and neighboring countries since it reached its parking location at 74° E longitude on 15 September.

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)

2007-040A (32058)    FOTON M3 (Capsule)             26 September
2007-014B (31141)    R/B Minotaur                   26 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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