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A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 650
01 January 2008

SPACEWARN Activities

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

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

International ID
Catalog Number
Spacecraft Name Launch Date (UT)
2007-065C 32395 Cosmos 2435 25 December 2007
2007-065B 32394 Cosmos 2436 25 December 2007
2007-065A 32393 Cosmos 2437 25 December 2007
2007-064A 32391 Progress-M 62 23 December 2007
2007-063B 32388 Horizons 2 21 December 2007
2007-063A 32387 RASCOM-QAF1 21 December 2007
2007-062A 32384 GPS 2R-18 20 December 2007
2007-061A 32382 Radarsat 2 14 December 2007
2007-060A 32378 USA 198 10 December 2007
2007-059A 32376 Skymed 2 09 December 2007
2007-058A 32373 Cosmos 2434 09 December 2007

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

2007-065A,  2007-065B,  and 2007-065C
Cosmos 2435 (Glonass M12), Cosmos 2436 (Glonass M13), and Cosmos 2437 (Glonass M14) are the latest to join the Russian fleet of Glonass navigational satellites. They were launched by a Proton-M booster at 19:32 UT from Baikonur on 25 December 2007. These three bring the total 2007 successful Russian launches to 65 craft, and the total Glonass craft to 18. Similar to the American GPS fleet, Glonass also has separate civilian and military channels, the former enabling position accuracy of about 65 m. The initial orbital parameters of all three were similar: period 676 min, apogee 19,200 km, perigee 19,100 km, and inclination 64.66°.
Progress-M 62 is a Russian automatic cargo craft that was launched by a Soyuz-U rocket from Baikonur at 07:12 UT on 23 December 2007. It carried and delivered 2.5 tonnes of food, fuel, water and equipment to the ISS. It docked automatically with the PIRS module of the ISS at 08:14 UT on 26 December 2007. In preparation, the previously docked Progress-M 61 was ejected from the port on 22 December and allowed to orbit independently for a month for a series of technical experiments before deorbiting and burn away. The initial orbital parameters of Progress-M 62 were period, 91.2 min, apogee 337 km, perigee 334 km, and inclination 51.6°.
Horizons 2 is a geostationary communications satellite that was launched by an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou at 21:42 UT on 21 December 2007. The 2.3 tonne (with fuel) craft is jointly owned and operated by INTELSAT and the Japanese JSAT Corporation, and carries 20 Ku-band transponders to provide HDTV and broadband internet services to the US, Canada, and Japan after parking over 74° W longitude. It is to replace the 17-year-old SBS 6.
RASCOM-QAF 1 is a Pan-African geostationary communications satellite that was launched by an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou at 21:42 UT on 21 December 2007. The 3.2 tonne craft carries 12 Ku-band and eight C-band transponders to provide low-cost telecommunications to the towns and isolated villages in sub-Saharan Africa, after parking over 2.9° E longitude.
GPS 2R-18, also known as GPS 2R-M, Navstar 61, and USA 199, is a navigational craft in the American GPS fleet that was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 20:04 UT on 20 December 2007. The 2.04 tonne (with fuel) craft will be moved to Slot 1 in Plane C, replacing GPS 2A-24, which will in turn be moved to replace the ailing GPS 2A-20. The initial orbital parameters were period 720 min, apogee 20,310 km, perigee 20,150 km, and inclination 55°.
Radarsat 2 is a Canadian synthetic aperture radar craft that was launched by a Soyuz rocket from Baikonur at 13:17 UT on 14 December 2007. It is a superior version of the Radarsat 1, and yields a spatial resolution of three meters. The 2.2 tonne craft carries transmitters and receivers operating at 5.405 GHz, with a rectangular antenna of 15 m x 1.7 m. For locating its own position, it carries a GPS receiver, as well as a star tracker. It will receive echoes polarized horizontally and vertically, in separate channels. It has an on-board electronic data storage capability, as well a number of ground-based receivers for direct data reception. It is expected to play a major role in sea ice monitoring and in tracking vessels (legal and trespassing) in the Arctic Ocean. Additional details are available at: The initial orbital parameters were period 100.8 min, apogee 799 km, perigee 792 km, and inclination 98.6°.
USA 198, also known as NROL 24, is an American military (NRO) satellite that is reported to be a data-relaying craft for other military satellites. It was launched by an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 22:05 UT on 10 December 2007. No further information is available.
Skymed 2 is an Italian (military-civilian) dual use, Earth-imaging craft that was launched by a Delta 2 rocket from Vandenberg AFB at 02:31 UT on 09 December 2007. It carries a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) operating in X-band. The initial orbital parameters were period 97.2 min, apogee 624 km, perigee 622 km, and inclination 97.9°.
Cosmos 2434 is a Russian geostationary military satellite that was launched by a Proton-M booster from Baikonur at 00:16 UT on 09 December 2007.

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 GPS 2R-18 (2007-062A).

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 2007-065A, 2007-065B, and 2007-065C.

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)

2000-063G (26573)    R/B (Aux.) Proton-K             30 December
2007-065E (32397)    R/B Proton-M                    27 December
2007-064A (32391)    PROGRESS-M 62                   26 December
2007-061B (32383)    R/B Soyuz                       16 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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