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A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 678
01 May 2010

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 01 April 2010 and 30 April 2010.

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

International ID
Catalog Number
Spacecraft Name Launch Date (UT)
2010-018A 36521 Progress M-05M 28 April 2010
2010-017A 36519 Cosmos 2463 27 April 2010
2010-016A 36516 SES 1 24 April 2010
2010-015A 36514 OTV 1 (USA 212) 22 April 2010
2010-014A 36511 Cosmos 2462 16 April 2010
2010-013A 36508 Cryosat 2 08 April 2010
2010-012A 36507 STS 131 05 April 2010
2010-011A 36505 Soyuz-TMA 18 02 April 2010

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

Progress M-05M, a Russian unmanned supply vessel for the International Space Station, was launched on a Soyuz rocket from Baikonur on 28 April 2010 at 17:15 UT. ISS crew carried out a manual docking during the final approach of the spacecraft. The vessel was docked to the ISS Pirs module on 01 May 2010 at 18:30 UT. The spacecraft carried to the ISS nearly 2,400 kg of equipment, food, propellant, oxygen and air.
Cosmos 2463, a Russian military satellite, was launched on a Kosmos-3M rocket from Plesetsk on 27 April 2010 at 01:05 UT.
SES 1, a commercial geostationary communications satellite, was launched on a Proton M rocket with a Breeze M upper stage from Baikonur on 24 April 2010 at 11:19 UT. The satellite carries 24 C-band and 24 Ku-band transponders and will provide service to North American customers from a longitude of 101° W. It will replace the AMC 2 and AMC 4 satellites and has an expected lifetime of 15 years.
OTV 1, a United States Air Force X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, was launched on an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral on 22 April 2010 at 23:52 UT. The OTV is a 5000 kg, 8.8 m-long reusable mini-spaceplane capable of autonomous re-entry and landing. The OTV 1 mission is designed to test new technologies and develop ways to make space access more routine, affordable and responsive. The OTV is the first vehicle since NASA's shuttle orbiter capable of returning experiments to Earth for further inspection and analysis. The OTV mission is expected to last several months. The automated landing will be at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
Cosmos 2462, a Russian military satellite, was launched on a Soyuz rocket from Plesetsk on 16 April 2010 at 15:00 UT.
Cryosat 2, a European Space Agency Earth science satellite, was launched from Baikonur on a Dnepr rocket on 08 April 2010 at 13:57 UT. Cryosat 2 will spend more than three years monitoring the precise changes in the polar ice caps and floating sea ice to determine the rate the planet's ice cover is diminishing. The satellite replaces one that was lost in a launch failure in 2005. The primary instrument on Cryosat 2 is SIRAL, the Synthetic Aperture Interferometric Radar Altimeter. The SIRAL instrument will operate in three modes: a low-resolution mode, a synthetic aperture mode, and an interferometric mode. The low-resolution mode will scan the sea surface and stable continental ice sheets in Antarctica, the synthetic aperture mode will measure the elevation of floating sea ice to determine its thickness, and the interferometric mode will gather high resolution data on the borders of ice sheets.
STS 131 was an American shuttle craft carrying seven astronauts, supplies and hardware for the International Space Station. It launched from Cape Canaveral on 05 April 2010 at 10:21 UT. The craft docked with the ISS on 07 April 2010 at 07:44 UT. The mission objectives included the transfer of approximately 7700 kg of materials and scientific hardware from the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module and performing three spacewalks to replace an ammonia coolant tank on the exterior of the ISS. The shuttle left the ISS carrying back to Earth a payload rack from the exterior of the European Columbus module and the Japanese Experiment Module SEED payload. The STS 131 mission completed with a landing at Cape Canaveral on 20 April 2010 at 13:08 UT.
Soyuz-TMA 18 is a Russian passenger craft that was launched by a Soyuz-FG rocket from Baikonur on 02 April 2010 at 04:04 UT. The craft carried two Russian cosmonauts, and a NASA astronaut to the International Space Station. The Soyuz docked with the ISS Poisk module on 04 April 2010 at 05:25 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 2010-007A, 2010-007B and 2010-007C.

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 (2010)

1979-093B(11601)     SL-3 R/B                        30 April
2009-056A(35948)     PROGRESS-M 03M                  27 April
2010-014B(36512)     SL-4 R/B                        21 April
2010-012A(36507)     STS 131                         20 April
2003-052B(28083)     CZ-3A R/B                       12 April
2009-063B(36096)     SL-4 R/B                        07 April
2010-011B(36506)     SL-4 R/B                        05 April

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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