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A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 674
01 January 2010

SPACEWARN Activities

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

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

International ID
Catalog Number
Spacecraft Name Launch Date (UT)
2009-075A 36131 DirecTV 12 29 December 2009
2009-074A 36129 Soyuz-TMA 17 20 December 2009
2009-073A 36124 Helios 2B 18 December 2009
2009-072B 36122 Xiwang 1 (Hope-1) 15 December 2009
2009-072A 36121 Yaogan 8 15 December 2009
2009-071A 36119 WISE 14 December 2009
2009-070C 36113 Cosmos (GLONASS) 14 December 2009
2009-070B 36112 Cosmos (GLONASS) 14 December 2009
2009-070A 36111 Cosmos (GLONASS) 14 December 2009
2009-069A 36110 Yaogan 7 09 December 2009
2009-068A 36108 WGS F3 (USA 211) 06 December 2009

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

DirecTV 12, a United States commercial communications satellite, was launched on a Proton rocket with a Breeze M upper stage from Baikonur on 29 December 2009 at 00:22 UT. This geosynchronous satellite will be stationed at 102.8° W longitude and will provide high-definition direct-to-home programming to customers in the United States. The 5900 kg DirecTV 12 satellite carries 131 Ka-band transponders and has an expected operational lifetime of 15 years.
Soyuz-TMA 17 is a Russian (RKA) passenger craft that was launched by a Soyuz-FG rocket from Baikonur on 20 December 2009 at 21:52 UT. The craft carried a Russian cosmonaut, a NASA astronaut and a Japanese astronaut to the International Space Station. The Soyuz docked with the ISS at the Earth-facing port of the Zarya module on 22 December 2009 at 22:48 UT.
Helios 2B is a French military satellite launched on an Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou on 18 December 2009 at 16:26 UT.
Xiwang 1, a Chinese amateur radio satellite, was a secondary payload on a Long March 4C rocket launched from Taiyuan on 15 December 2009 at 02:31 UT. This satellite, also known as XW 1 or Hope 1 has a mass of approximately 50 kg and carries a beacon, and three cross-band transponders operating in FM, SSB/CW and digital modes.
Yaogan 8, a Chinese observation satellite, was launched on a Long March 4C rocket from Taiyuan on 15 December 2009 at 02:31 UT.
WISE, NASA's Wide Field Infrared Survey Explorer, was launched on a Delta 2 rocket from Vandenberg on 14 December 2009 at 14:09 UT. The cryogenically-cooled, 661 kg satellite carries a 0.4 m diameter telescope and four detectors to perform a sky survey in infrared wavelengths. WISE will observe in four bands, 3.4, 4.6, 12 and 22 microns. Every 11 s images of a 47 arc-minute wide field will be made on to detector arrays of over one million pixels each. The mission will last until the coolant is depleted, approximately ten months. This is expected to be sufficient time to complete one-and-a-half surveys after a one month checkout period.
Three Glonass-M spacecraft Cosmos 2456 (Glonass 730), Cosmos 2457 (Glonass 733) and Cosmos 2458 (Glonass 734) 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 14 December 2009 at 10:38 UT. The spacecraft are designed to last seven years. The constellation currently has 19 active satellites which enable continuous coverage of the entire Russian territory. Global service requires 24 active satellites. The GLONASS system requires satellites in three orbital planes. These recent additions to the constellation will occupy the first plane, orbital slots 1, 4 and 5.
Yaogan 7, a Chinese observation satellite, was launched on a Long March 2D rocket from Jiuquan on 09 December 2009 at 08:42 UT.
WGS F3, the US military's third Wideband Global SATCOM geostationary communications satellite, was launched on a Delta 4 rocket from Cape Canaveral at 01:47 UT on 06 December 2009. The satellite is intended for an orbital slot of 12° W longitude.

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 2009-070A, 2009-070B, and 2009-070C.

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)

2009-074B(36130)     SL-4 R/B                       24 December
2009-070G(36117)     SL-12 R/B(1)                   15 December
2009-070D(36114)     SL-12 PLAT                     15 December
2009-030A(35010)     SOYUZ-TMA 15                   01 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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