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A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 655
01 June 2008

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 01 May 2008 and 31 May 2008.

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

International ID
Catalog Number
Spacecraft Name Launch Date (UT)
2008-027A 32960 STS 124 31 May 2008
2008-026A 32958 Fengyun 3A 27 May 2008
2008-025D 32956 Cosmos 2439 23 May 2008
2008-025C 32955 Cosmos 2438 23 May 2008
2008-025B 32954 Cosmos 2437 23 May 2008
2008-025A 32953 Yubileiny 23 May 2008
2008-024A 32951 Galaxy 18 21 May 2008
2008-023A 32847 Progress-M 64 14 May 2008

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

STS 124 is an American shuttle craft that was launched towards the international Space Station (ISS) at 21:02 UT on 31 May 2008. It carried seven astronauts (six American, and one Japanese) to the ISS. The major mission is to install the 16-tonne pressurized, second segment of the Japanese research laboratory, and to repair the liquid toilet. It was to dock with the ISS on 02 June. Three spacewalks are planned for the installation and integration of the lab. The shuttle will land back after a 14 day mission. During the launch, foam debris from the external fuel tank was observed to hit the launch pad. An inspection by the crew later found no visible impact on the shuttle itself. Supplemental information on the mission will be reported in July issue of this Bulletin. The initial orbital parameters were period 91 min, apogee 315 km, perigee 303 km, and inclination 51.6°.
Fengyun 3A sometimes listed as FY 3A, is a Chinese (PRC) weather satellite that was launched by a Long March 4C rocket from Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center (TSLC) in Shanxi province at 03:02 UT on 27 May 2008. The triaxially-stabilized 4.4 m x 2.0 m x 2.0 m, 2.2 tonne, 1.1 kW craft carries weather probes in visible, infrared, and microwave bands for global mapping, as well as for managing the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
VIRR (Visible and Infrared Radiometer) will provide intensities in ten wavelength channels, most of them in infrared.
MODI is a moderate resolution imager that provides images in 19 wavelength bands ranging from 0.47 nm through 1.03 nm, plus an image at the far-infrared 11.5 nm band.
MWRI (Microwave Radiation Imager) will provide images in GHz bands of 10.65, 18.7, 23.8, 36.5, 89, and 150 GHz thermal emissions from land and oceans.
IRAS (Infrared Atmospheric Sounder) is a "sounder" that provides altitude distribution of aerosols and carbon dioxides in the stratosphere, in 20 wavelength channels.
MWTS (Microwave atmospheric Temperature Sounder) is an eight-channel (19.35, 23.9, 31.0, 50.31, 53.74, 54.96, 57.95, and 89 GHz) "sounder" to sense the vertical atmospheric temperature profile.
In addition, Fengyun 3A carries, an ozone mapper/profiler, a radiation budget monitor, and a space environment probe to monitor energetic particle fluxes.
The initial orbital parameters were period 101 min, apogee 811 km, perigee 805 km, and inclination 98.8°.
2008-025D,   2008-025C,   2008-025B
Cosmos 2439, Cosmos 2438, and Cosmos 2437 are the latest group of Russian civilian relay satellites in the Gonets-D1M series that were launched by a Rokot rocket from Plesetsk at 15:20 UT on 23 May 2008. Some reports provide the names as Gonets-D1M 4, Gonets-D1M 3 and Gonets-D1M 2. Each has a mass of 250 kg and power 10 W, enough to relay text messages across Russia. Eventually, the Gonets-D1M fleet will have 36 craft, with six craft per orbital plane. The initial orbital parameters were period 116 min, apogee 1,509 km, perigee 1,478 km, and inclination 82.5°.
Yubileiny is a Russian microsatellite that was launched by a Rokot rocket from Plesetsk at 15:20 UT on 23 May 2008. The craft commemorates the 1957 launch of Sputnik 1, broadcasting its images and audio tones in the amateur radio band. The initial orbital parameters were period 115.8 min, apogee 1,510 km, perigee 1,480 km, and inclination 82.5°.
Galaxy 18 is an American geostationary communications craft that was launched by a Zenit 3SL rocket from the Odyssey platform floating on the equatorial Pacific at 09:43 UT on 21 May 2008. The 4.8 tonne (with fuel) craft will provide advanced cable television and data throughout North America through its 24 Ku-band and 24 C-band transponders, after parking over 123° W longitude.
Progress-M 64 is a Russian automatic cargo carrier that was launched by a Soyuz-U rocket from Baikonur at 20:23 UT on 14 May 2008. It carried 3.1 tonnes of fuel, food, and water to the International Space Station (ISS). It docked automatically with the ISS on 17 May, and delivered the cargo. The initial orbital parameters were period 91.3 min, apogee 344 km, perigee 337 km, and inclination 51.6°.

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)

2008-023B (32848)    R/B Soyuz-U                      18 May

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.

The following is the updated list of the 10 satellites and their IDs that were launched by the Indian PSLV-C9 rocket on 28 April 2008:

International ID
Catalog Number
Spacecraft Name Sponsorship
2008-021A 32783 CartoSat 2A Indian
2008-021B 32784 CanX 6 Canadian
2008-021C 32785 CUTE 1.7 & AOD2 Japanese
2008-021D 32786 IMS 1 Indian
2008-021E 32787 COMPASS 1 German
2008-021F 32788 AAUSAT CubeSat 2 Danish
2008-021G 32789 Delfi-C3 Dutch
2008-021H 32790 CanX 2 Canadian
2008-021J 32791 SEEDS Japanese
2008-021K 32792 Rubin 8/PSLV Indian

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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