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A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 662
01 Jan. 2009

SPACEWARN Activities

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

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

International ID
Catalog Number
Spacecraft Name Launch Date (UT)
2008-067C 33468 Cosmos (GLONASS) 25 December 2008
2008-067B 33467 Cosmos (GLONASS) 25 December 2008
2008-067A 33466 Cosmos (GLONASS) 25 December 2008
2008-066A 33463 Fengyun 2E 23 December 2008
2008-065B 33460 W2M 20 December 2008
2008-065A 33459 Hot Bird 9 20 December 2008
2008-064A 33456 Yaogan 5 15 December 2008
2008-063A 33453 Ciel-2 10 December 2008
2008-062A 33447 Cosmos 2446 02 December 2008
2008-061A 33446 Yaogan 4 01 December 2008

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

Three GLONASS-M spacecraft, Cosmos 2447 (Glonass 727), Cosmos 2448 (Glonass 728), Cosmos 2449 (Glonass 729) were added to the Russian global navigation satellite system. They were launched by a Proton-M rocket with a Block DM upper stage from Baikonur on 25 December 2008 at 10:43 UT. The spacecraft are designed to last at least seven years. The Glonass system currently consists of 20 satellites, of which 16 are operational, the three newest are in their commissioning and test phase, and one is due to be withdrawn. The system requires 18 satellites for continuous navigation services covering the entire territory of the Russian Federation, and 24 satellites to provide services worldwide. The initial orbital parameters of the three were: (2008-067A) period 676 min, apogee 19,137 km, perigee 19120 km, and inclination 64.8°; (2008-067B) period 676 min, apogee 19,138 km, perigee 19120 km, and inclination 64.8°; and, (2008-067C) period 669 min, apogee 19,091 km, perigee 18824 km, and inclination 64.8°.
Fengyun 2E, sometimes listed as Fengyun 2-06, was launched aboard a Long March 3A rocket 23 December 2008 at 00:54 UT from the Xichang launch center in southwestern China's Sichuan province. The 1,390 kg satellite will serve a role in weather forecasting for China and neighboring countries and in disaster reduction. The new geostationary meteorological satellite will replace Fengyun 2C (2004-042A), which is stationed along the equator at 105° E longitude.
Hot Bird 9 is a European geostationary communications satellite (owned by Eutelsat) launched by an Ariane 5 rocket at 22:35 UT on 20 December 2008 from Kourou. Built by EADS Astrium using the Eurostar E3000 platform, the craft is equipped with 64 Ku-band transponders for relaying transmissions directly to small dishes at user's homes. The satellite will be used for digital and high definition television broadcasting throughout Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. Hot Bird 9 will be positioned at 13° E longitude. Hot Bird 9 will allow the Hot Bird 7A spacecraft currently operating at that location to be moved into the 9° E position for replacement of the 12-year-old Eurobird 9 craft.
W2M is a European geostationary communications satellite (owned by Eutelsat) launched by an Ariane 5 rocket at 22:35 UT on 20 December 2008 from Kourou. W2M was built under a collaborative effort between EADS Astrium and Antrix, the commercial arm of the Indian Space Research Organization. It has 32 Ku-band transponders for television broadcasting, Internet connectivity and business networking. The craft will replace the W2 satellite launched 10 years ago and reach markets in central and eastern Europe, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and islands in the Indian Ocean region. W2M will be positioned at 16° E longitude.
Yaogan 5 was launched on a Long March 4B rocket from the Taiyuan Satellite Launch Center in northern China's Shanxi Province at 03:22 UT on 15 December 2008. The three-stage rocket boosted the earth observation satellite into a sun-synchronous low-earth orbit. The initial orbital parameters were: period 94 min, apogee 491 km, perigee 483 km, and inclination 97.4°.
Ciel 2 is a geosynchronous communications satellite (owned by the Ciel Satellite Group) that will be used for digital TV services. Ciel 2 has 32 Ku-band transponders and is based on a Spacebus 4000 C4 model built by Thales Alenia Space. The satellite was launched on a Proton-M rocket with a Breeze M upper stage from Baikonur at 13:43 UT on 10 December 2008. From its orbital position at 129° W longitude, the spacecraft will serve the Canadian and the larger North American market.
Cosmos 2446 is a Russian military craft that was launched by a Molniya-M rocket from Plesetsk at 05:03 UT on 02 December 2008. The initial orbital parameters were period 705 min, apogee 34,490 km, perigee 5,224 km, and inclination 63°.
Yaogan 4 is a remote sensing satellite launched on a Long March 2D rocket on 01 December 2008 at 04:42 UT at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in northwestern China's Gansu Province. The initial orbital parameters were period 98 min, apogee 644 km, perigee 642 km, and inclination 98°.

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 IAC the latest additions to the fleet are 2008-067A, 2008-067B, and 2008-067C.

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)

2008-067D (33469)    SL-12 R/B(1)                     26 December
2008-054B (33413)    DELTA 2 R/B                      21 December
2008-037B (33273)    SL-4 R/B                         14 December
2008-043A (33340)    PROGRESS-M 65                    07 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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