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A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 667
01 June 2009

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 01 May 2009 and 31 May 2009.

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

International ID
Catalog Number
Spacecraft Name Launch Date (UT)
2009-030A 35010 Soyuz-TMA 15 27 May 2009
2009-029A 35008 Meridian 2 20 May 2009
2009-028E 35005 Aerocube 3 19 May 2009
2009-028D 35004 CP6 19 May 2009
2009-028C 35003 Hawksat 1 19 May 2009
2009-028B 35002 Pharmasat 19 May 2009
2009-028A 35001 Tacsat 3 19 May 2009
2009-027A 34941 Protostar 2 16 May 2009
2009-026B 34938 Planck 13 May 2009
2009-026A 34937 Herschel 13 May 2009
2009-025A 34933 STS 125 11 May 2009
2009-024A 34905 Progress-M 02M 07 May 2009
2009-023A 34903 STSS ATRR (USA 205) 05 May 2009

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

Soyuz-TMA 15 is a Russian (RKA) passenger craft that was launched by a Soyuz-FG rocket from Baikonur at 10:34 UT on 27 May 2009. It carried a Russian cosmonaut, an ESA astronaut and a Canadian Space Agency astronaut to the International Space Station. It docked with Earth-facing port of the Zarya module of the ISS at 12:34 UT on 29 May 2009. This mission will increase the number of crew members of the ISS to six.
Meridian 2 is a Russian military communications satellite launched on a Soyuz 2-1a rocket with a Fregat upper stage from Plesetsk at 21:53 UT on 20 May 2009.
Aerocube 3 is one of three CubeSats launched as secondary payloads (Tacsat 3 was primary) on board a Minotaur 1 rocket on 19 May 2009 at 23:55 UT from Wallops. This miniature satellite will perform experiments and test various technologies in space including a two-axis Sun sensor and an Earth sensor. During a portion of the mission the satellite will remain tethered to the upper stage of the rocket to study the dynamics of the system under different tether lengths. The second phase of the mission will allow Aerocube 3 to fly untethered and make several Earth observations. The satellite also includes a balloon which will inflate at the end of the mission and reduce the orbital lifetime.
CP 6 is one of three CubeSats launched as secondary payloads (Tacsat 3 was primary) on board a Minotaur 1 rocket on 19 May 2009 at 23:55 UT from Wallops. This is a technology demonstration mission consisting of two parts. The first part of the mission will use sensors to determine attitude and use Earth imaging for verification. The second part of the mission will study the effectiveness of a device for collecting electrons from the ambient plasma environment. This technology will have potential application in electrodynamic propulsion systems.
Hawksat 1 is one of three CubeSats launched as secondary payloads (Tacsat 3 was primary) on board a Minotaur 1 rocket on 19 May 2009 at 23:55 UT from Wallops. This is a technology demonstration mission that will test the hardiness of materials to the space environment.
Pharmasat is a small biology research satellite launched as a secondary payload to Tacsat 3 onboard a Minotaur 1 rocket on 19 May 2009 at 23:55 UT from Wallops. Pharmasat is designed to measure the influence of microgravity upon yeast resistance to an antifungal agent. The yeast cells will be cultivated in 48 independent microwells. Since previous observations indicate that certain microorganisms may become more virulent in space, an antibiotic will be applied at different dosage levels to each microwell to investigate its effectiveness. The results of this work are expected to lead to effective countermeasure development for long-term space travel and habitation.
Tacsat 3 is an experimental US military satellite carrying a hyperspectral imager. The satellite was launched onboard a Minotaur 1 rocket on 19 May 2009 at 23:55 UT from Wallops.
Protostar 2, also known as IndoStar 2, was launched on a Proton M rocket with a Breeze M upper stage from Baikonur at 00:57 UT on 16 May 2009. This geosynchronous communications satellite will be positioned at 108°E longitude and will serve customers in Indonesia, India, Taiwan and the Philippines. Protostar 2 carries 13 S-band and 27 Ku-band transponders for television and Internet access.
Planck is an ESA astronomy satellite launched on an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou on 13 May 2009 at 13:12 UT. From its orbital position around the L2 Lagrangian point, Planck will measure minute variations in the cosmic microwave background radiation. This radiation is expected to provided scientists with detailed information about the age, size, mass and geometry of the early universe. Planck is expected to produce two all-sky maps before the end of mission, nominally 15 months. Planck has a mass of roughly 1900 kg, carries a mirror with a 1.5 m aperture and two cryogenically cooled instruments, the High Frequency Instrument (HFI) and the Low Frequency Instrument (LFI). The HFI detects emission in six frequency bands between 100 and 857 GHz (3 mm to 350 microns) while the LFI operates between 30 and 70 GHz (10 mm to 4.3 mm).
Herschel is an ESA astronomy satellite launched on an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou on 13 May 2009 at 13:12 UT. Herschel will operate from an orbital position around the second Lagrangian point and make infrared observations of stars, galaxies and star-forming regions using a 3.5 m-diameter mirror, the largest yet carried into space. The 3400 kg spacecraft carries three instruments: the Photodetector Array Camera and Spectrometer (PACS), the Spectral and Photometric Imaging Receiver (SPIRE) and the Heterodyne Instrument for the Far Infrared (HIFI). PACS will observe between 60 and 210 microns, SPIRE between 250 and 520 microns and HIFI between 157 and 625 microns. Herschel also carries 2300 liters of liquid helium to cool the instruments to a few tenths of a degree above zero Kelvin. The mission lifetime is nominally three years but may continue until the helium has been depleted.
STS 125 is an American shuttle craft that was launched from Cape Canaveral at 18:01 UT on 11 May 2009 carrying seven astronauts. This is the fifth Hubble Space Telescope Servicing Mission. Over the course of five spacewalks the astronauts replaced two science instruments, repaired two others, and replaced gyroscopes, star sensors, a science computer, batteries and thermal blankets. The STS 125 mission concluded with a landing at Edwards Air Force Base on 24 May 2009 at 15:39 UT.
Progress-M 02M, a Russian unmanned resupply vessel for the International Space Station, was launched on a Soyuz U rocket from Baikonur on 07 May 2009 at 18:37 UT. The spacecraft carries spare parts, life support gear, and hardware. It will also resupply the station with propellant, pure oxygen and air. The Progress vessel docked with the ISS at the Earth-facing port of the Pirs module on 12 May 2009 at 19:24 UT. Prior to docking, the Progress was used to perform tests of a new avionics system.
STSS ATRR, the Space Tracking and Surveillance System Advanced Technology Risk Reduction Satellite, was launched from Vandenburg aboard a Delta 2 rocket on 05 May 2009 at 20:24 UT. This is US military technology demonstration satellite.

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-20(M) (2009-014A).

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 (2009)

2009-004B(33507)     Safir 2 R/B                       31 May
2009-030B(35011)     SL-4 R/B                          31 May
2009-025A(34933)     STS 125                           24 May
2009-024B(34906)     SL-4 R/B                          10 May
2002-060E(27621)     SL-12 R/B (AUX MOTOR)             09 May
1979-032B(11332)     SL-3 R/B                          09 May
2009-022B(34872)     SL-4 R/B                          04 May
2009-013B(34603)     SL-19 R/B                         01 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.

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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