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A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 668
01 July 2009

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 01 June 2009 and 30 June 2009.

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

International ID
Catalog Number
Spacecraft Name Launch Date (UT)
2009-034A 35493 Sirius FM5 30 June 2009
2009-033A 35491 GOES 14 27 June 2009
2009-032A 35362 MEASAT 3a 21 June 2009
2009-031B 35316 LCROSS 18 June 2009
2009-031A 35315 LRO 18 June 2009

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

Sirius FM5 is an American communications spacecraft that was launched by a Proton-M rocket with a Breeze M upper stage from Baikonur at 19:10 UT on 30 June 2009. It will enable S-band digital radio broadcasts (music, news, and entertainment) to motorists in North America. Sirius FM5 will be placed in geostationary orbit at a longitude of 96° W. The satellite has a design lifetime of 15 years.
GOES 14, also known as GOES-O, is an American (NOAA) geostationary weather satellite that was launched by a Delta 4 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 22:51 UT on 27 June 2009. The mass of the spacecraft at launch was 3,200 kg. It is the latest in the series of Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites which carry an imager, sounder, a Space Environment Monitor (SEM) package, a solar X-ray imager, and SARSAT Search and Rescue ground-data relaying equipment. The SEM consists of an energetic particle sensor, two magnetometers, and solar X-ray and extreme ultraviolet sensors. GOES 14 was placed in orbit originally as a spare.
MEASAT 3a, is a Malaysian geostationary communications satellite launched on a Zenit-3SLB rocket from Baikonur on 21 June 2009 at 21:50 UT. MEASAT 3a will be placed into an orbital longitude of 91.5° E. The satellite includes 12 C-band and 12 Ku-band transponders and will provide telecommunications and video service to customers in the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East, and Africa. MEASAT 3a will provide direct-to-home programming to customers in Malaysia and Indonesia. The satellite has a design life of 15 years.
LCROSS, the Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite, was launched as a secondary payload on an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral on 18 June 2009 at 21:32 UT. LCROSS consists of a shepherding satellite and the attached spent Centaur upper stage. The mission objective is to send the Centaur upper stage into a lunar crater near the south pole of the Moon and observe the impact. In particular, LCROSS will be looking for signs of water in the debris plume. LCROSS carries two near-infrared spectrometers, a visible light spectrometer, two mid-infrared, two near-infrared and one visible light camera and a visible light radiometer. Approximately four minutes after the Centaur impact the shepherding satellite will also impact the Lunar surface. Several other ground-based and space-based observatories are expected to observe these events.
LRO, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, was launched on an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral on 18 June 2009 at 21:32 UT. LRO is a NASA lunar orbiter mission intended to provide, from a polar orbit of 50 km altitude, high resolution maps of the lunar surface at several wavelengths, altimetry data, and study permanently shadowed lunar craters near the poles to search for signs of water ice. The primary mission duration is one year with two or three more years in an extended mission phase. LRO carries seven scientific instruments.
CRaTER (Cosmic Ray Telescope for the Effects of Radiation): A radiation sensor that continuously measures the energetic particles from the Sun and cosmic rays that reach the spacecraft to characterize the radiation environment around the Moon.
DLRE (Diviner Lunar Radiometer Experiment): Remotely senses the lunar surface to generate temperature maps of the Moon.
LAMP (Lyman Alpha Mapping Project): An instrument that uses Lyman alpha ultraviolet starlight to search for ice in permanently shadowed craters.
LEND (Lunar Exploration Neutron Detector): A Russian detector to gauge the hydrogen distribution of the Moon's surface and the neutron component of the radiation environment. The hydrogen could be an indication of water ice.
LOLA (Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter): This laser altimeter will probe the Moon's topography and create precise 3-D maps of potential landing sites.
LROC (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera): Three-camera package for detailed narrow- and wide-angle imaging. Two narrow-angle cameras will make high-resolution, monochromatic images of the surface, with a resolution down to 1 m. Approximately 10% of the surface will be imaged at this resolution. The wide-angle camera will take color and ultraviolet images over the complete lunar surface at 100-m resolution.
Mini-RF (Miniature Radio Frequency Technology Demonstration): Synthetic aperture radar technology demonstrator to image the polar regions for evidence of water ice.

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)

2009-014C(34663)     DELTA 2 R/B(1)                    29 June
1982-095A(13585)     COSMOS 1409                       08 June

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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