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A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 671
01 October 2009

SPACEWARN Activities

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

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

International ID
Catalog Number
Spacecraft Name Launch Date (UT)
2009-053A 35940 Soyuz-TMA 16 30 September 2009
2009-052B 35938 STSS DEMO 2 (USA 209) 25 September 2009
2009-052A 35937 STSS DEMO 1 (USA 208) 25 September 2009
2009-051F 35936 Rubin 9.1/Rubin 9.2/PSLV 23 September 2009
2009-051E 35935 OBJECT E 23 September 2009
2009-051D 35934 OBJECT D 23 September 2009
2009-051C 35933 OBJECT C 23 September 2009
2009-051B 35932 OBJECT B 23 September 2009
2009-051A 35931 Oceansat 2 23 September 2009
2009-050A 35873 Nimiq 5 17 September 2009
2009-049G 35871 BLITS 17 September 2009
2009-049F 35870 Sumbandila 17 September 2009
2009-049E 35869 UGATUSAT 17 September 2009
2009-049D 35868 Tatiana 2 17 September 2009
2009-049C 35867 Fregat/IRIS 17 September 2009
2009-049B 35866 Sterkh 2 17 September 2009
2009-049A 35865 Meteor-M 17 September 2009
2009-048A 35817 HTV 1 10 September 2009
2009-047A 35815 USA 207 08 September 2009

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

Soyuz-TMA 16 is a Russian (RKA) passenger craft that was launched by a Soyuz FG rocket on 30 September 2009 at 07:14 UT from Baikonur. The craft carried a Russian cosmonaut, a NASA astronaut and a Canadian space tourist to the International Space Station. The craft is expected to dock with the ISS on 02 October 2009. This mission will replace two of the crew members of the ISS.
STSS Demo, the Space Tracking and Surveillance System Demonstrator mission, launched on a Delta 2 rocket from Cape Canaveral on 25 September 2009 at 12:20 UT. This US Missile Defense Agency mission will use sensors on the two spacecraft to track ballistic missiles. The satellites have a two-year mission life and four-year design life.
Rubin 9.1 and Rubin 9.2 are secondary payloads launched on an Indian PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) rocket from Sriharikota on 23 September 2009 at 06:21 UT. Rubin 9.1 and 9.2 will be used to support the maritime Automatic Identification System (AIS), a communications network used to track and identify shipping vessels. The two spacecraft remained attached to the fourth stage booster.
These spacecraft are four cubesats each with a mass of 1 kg and intended for technology demonstrations. They were launched as secondary payloads on an Indian PSLV rocket from Sriharikota on 23 September 2009 at 06:21 UT. UWE 2, a German cubesat, is intended to demonstrate a new Attitude Determination and Control System and the use of GPS on a cubesat; BeeSat, a German cubesat, will verify the behavior of new micro reaction wheels for picosatellites. ITU-pSAT1, a Turkish cubesat, will examine the performance of an on-board passive stability system it will also carry a camera. SwissCube, a Swiss cubesat, will take optical airglow measurements validating the use of low-cost off-the-shelf detectors for these observations.
Oceansat 2 was launched as the primary payload on an Indian PSLV rocket from Sriharikota on 23 September 2009 at 06:21 UT. The 960 kg remote sensing ocean monitoring satellite carries three instruments. The satellite is intended for a Sun-synchronous orbit of 728 km and inclination of 98.28°.
The Ocean Color Monitor (OCM) is an eight-band multispectral camera which will take data in the visible and near-infrared for observing water pollution, fish populations, sediment distribution and algae. Data will be taken along a swath of 1,420 km width with a resolution of 360 m.
The Ku-band Scatterometer operates at 13.515 GHz and covers a swath of 1400 km. The instrument will measure near surface wind vectors over the ocean for use in forecasting.
The Radio Occultation Sounder for the Atmosphere (ROSA), an Italian instrument, will observe distortions in GPS signals passing through the upper atmosphere. This information will be used to build temperature and humidity profiles and determine the electron density in the ionosphere.
Nimiq 5, a Canadian commercial communications satellite, was launched on a Proton rocket with a Breeze M upper stage from Baikonur on 17 September 2009 at 19:19 UT. The satellite carries 32 Ku-band transponders to beam direct-to-home programming to North America. The 4,745 kg satellite has a 15 year design lifetime and is intended for geosynchronous orbit at a longitude of 72.7° W.
BLITS, a 7.5 kg spherical satellite, was launched as a secondary payload on a Soyuz 2-1b rocket from Baikonur on 17 September 2009 at 15:55 UT. The satellite is covered in polished glass and will be used as a retroreflector for laser ranging experiments.
Sumbandila or SumbandilaSat, a South African remote sensing satellite, was launched as a secondary payload on a Soyuz 2-1b rocket from Baikonur on 17 September 2009 at 15:55 UT. Data from the 81 kg satellite will be used for agriculture monitoring, infrastructure mapping, disaster response, population measurement, and water management. The primary instrument on board is a multispectral imager with a resolution of 6.25 m.
UGATUSAT, a Russian education and technology demonstration microsatellite, was launched as a secondary payload on a Soyuz 2-1b rocket from Baikonur on 17 September 2009 at 15:55 UT. The roughly 30 kg satellite will make Earth observations with a resolution of 50 m.
Tatiana 2, a Russian education and technology demonstration microsatellite, was launched as a secondary payload on a Soyuz 2-1b rocket from Baikonur on 17 September 2009 at 15:55 UT. The 98 kg satellite has UV and visual (red) photomultipliers, a scintillation detector and a spectrometer to study high energy transient events in Earth's atmosphere.
Fregat/IRIS, a Russian technology demonstration satellite, was launched as a secondary payload on a Soyuz 2-1b rocket from Baikonur on 17 September 2009 at 15:55 UT. IRIS (Inflatable and Rigidizable Structure) consists of two inflatable panels mounted on the Fregat upper stage.
Sterkh 2 is a civilian search and rescue beacon relay satellite launched as a secondary payload on a Soyuz 2-1b rocket from Baikonur on 17 September 2009 at 15:55 UT. The satellite joins the COSPAS-SARSAT international satellite system which detect distress beacons and relay the information to emergency responders.
Meteor-M or Meteor-M1, a Russian meteorology satellite, launched as a primary payload on a Soyuz 2-1b rocket from Baikonur on 17 September 2009 at 15:55 UT. The 2,700 kg spacecraft has a service life of five years and will operate in a polar orbit at an altitude of 830 km. The satellite is designed to gather data for weather forecasts, to monitor the Earth's ozone layer and radiation conditions in the upper atmosphere, as well as to provide information on ice floes for maritime shipping in the polar regions. The satellite carries six instruments including imagers, sounders and a radar.
HTV 1, a Japanese unmanned re-supply vehicle to the International Space Station, launched on an H-2B rocket from Tanegashima on 10 September 2009 at 17:01 UT. The spacecraft delivered 4.5 tonnes of both pressurized and unpressurized cargo to the ISS. The pressurized cargo includes food, computer equipment and other supplies. The cargo intended for use on the ISS Kibo exposed science facility include the NASA HREP instrument for studies of the ocean and atmosphere and the JAXA SMILES instrument to study the ozone layer. On 17 September 2009 the HTV 1 was captured by the ISS and docked to the Harmony module.
USA 207, a US military communications satellite, was launched on an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral on 08 September 2009 at 21:35 UT.

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-21(M) (2009-043A).

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)

2009-049H(35872)     SL-4 R/B                       20 September
2007-043C(32251)     DELTA 2 R/B(1)                 18 September
2009-048B(35818)     H-2B R/B                       14 September
1996-039B(23944)     CZ-3 R/B                       12 September
2009-045A(35811)     STS 128                        12 September

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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