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A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 652
01 March 2008

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 01 February 2008 and 29 February 2008.

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

International ID
Catalog Number
Spacecraft Name Launch Date (UT)
2008-007A 32500 Kizuna 23 February 2008
2008-006A 32487 Thor 2R 11 February 2008
2008-005A 32486 STS 122 07 February 2008
2008-004A 32484 Progress-M 63 05 February 2008

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

Kizuna, also known by its pre-launch name of WINDS (Wideband InterNetworking engineering Demonstration Satellite) is a Japanese (JAXA) geostationary, technology demonstration craft that was launched by a H-2A rocket from Tanegashima island at 08:55 UT on 23 February 2008. The 4,850 kg (2,450 kg dry) craft is reported to carry an ultra-fast, 1.2 Gbps direct-to-home downlink in Ka-band, via two multi-beam antennas, one for Japan and the other covering several southeast Asian cities. It also carries an Active Phased Array Antenna (APAA) which can change the beam direction rapidly. For more details, see
Thor 2R, also known as Thor 5, is a Norwegian geostationary communications craft that was launched by a Proton-M rocket from Baikonur at 11:34 UT on 11 February 2008. The 1.9 tonne (with fuel) craft carries 25 Ku-band transponders, feeding fixed and steerable beams to provide direct-to-home television and internet links to Scandinavia, eastern Europe, and Middle-East countries after parking over 0.8° W longitude. It will replace Thor 2 which is reaching its end of life.
STS 122 is an American shuttle craft that was launched from Cape Canaveral at 19:45 UT on 07 February 2008. It carried seven astronauts (five American and two European) to the International Space Station (ISS). The primary goal of the mission was to carry the European (ESA) laboratory, Columbus, to the ISS and install it. It docked with the ISS at 17:25 UT on 09 February.
The Columbus laboratory is 6.8 m long, with a diameter of 4.5 m, volume of 75 3 and mass of 12.8 tonnes, and contains four ESA science instruments racks and one storage rack. Later, NASA will add five more racks. The laboratory was connected to the Harmony module (that was installed during the STS 120 mission) of the ISS, and is expected to be used for microgravity science projects. The crew did three spacewalks to install and checkout the connections. They also installed on Columbus a European solar monitor named SOLAR, and a facility named EuTEF (European Technology Exposure Facility).
The shuttle undocked from the ISS at 09:28 UT on 18 February, and landed back at Cape Canaveral at 14:08 UT on 20 February. The initial orbital parameters of STS 122 were period 91.25 min, apogee 343 km, perigee 329 km, and inclination 51.64°.
Progress-M 63 is a Russian automatic cargo craft that was launched by a Soyuz rocket at 13:02 UT on 05 February 2008. It transported to the ISS station 2.5 tonnes of food, fuel and other cargo, after docking with the Pirs module of the ISS at 14:38 UT on 07 February. In anticipation, the previous Progress-M 62 was evacuated from the port on 04 February, to let it orbit for a few days before entering the atmosphere on 15 February. The initial orbital parameters were period 91.29 min, apogee 343 km, perigee 333 km, and inclination 51.64°.

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 (2008)

2007-049C (32270)    R/B Molniya-M                   25 February
2008-00%A (32486)    STS 122 Landed back on          20 February
1994-051D (23214)    R/B(2) Molniya-M                19 February
1996-060D (24643)    R/B(2) Molniya-M                18 February
2007-059B (32377)    R/B Delta 2                     13 February
2008-004B (32485)    R/B Soyuz                       08 February

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.

With the weakened Plutonium power, and frozen fuel, the solar/heliospheric probe, Ulysses (1990-090B) ceased to operate as of mid-February 2008, after many years of successful operation.

The Pentagon has confirmed that in late-February it successfully shot down its reconnaissance craft, USA 193 (2006-057A, launched in December 2006) to prevent the out-of-control, hydrazine-filled craft from landing on populated areas.

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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