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A monthly publication of the National Space Science Data Center/World Data Center for Satellite Information
No. 679
01 June 2010

SPACEWARN Activities

All information in this publication was received between 01 May 2010 and 31 May 2010.

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

International ID
Catalog Number
Spacecraft Name Launch Date (UT)
2010-022A 36585 Navstar 65/GPS 2F-1 28 May 2010
2010-021B 36582 ComsatBw 2 21 May 2010
2010-021A 36581 Astra 3B 21 May 2010
2010-020F 36578 Unitec-1 20 May 2010
2010-020E 36577 IKAROS 20 May 2010
2010-020D 36576 Akatsuki 20 May 2010
2010-020C 36575 Object C 20 May 2010
2010-020B 36574 Object B 20 May 2010
2010-020A 36573 Object A 20 May 2010
2010-019A 36572 STS 132 14 May 2010

B. Text of Launch Announcements.

Navstar 65/GPS 2F-1, a US Air Force satellite also known as USA 213, was launched into orbit by a Delta 4 rocket from Cape Canaveral on 28 May 2010 at 03:00 UT. This is the first in a new breed of GPS satellites in the Block 2F series, which features even higher accuracy, enhanced internal clocks, longer life and reprogrammable on-board processors able to evolve with future needs. It will take over the position presently held by the GPS 2A-27 satellite (Plane B, Slot 2), which is considered one of the primary positions in the constellation.
COMSATBw 2 is a German military communication satellite launched from Kourou on 21 May 2010 at 22:01 UT. The craft weighed 2,495 kg and was launched by an Ariane 5 rocket. COMSATBw 2 is a secure relay platform that will deliver key services for the German Bundeswehr (German armed forces), and is a follow-on spacecraft to COMSATBw 1, which was orbited by an Ariane 5 in October 2009. Together, the COMSATBw satellites will provide a secure broadband network which guarantees uninterrupted communications between the government, military authorities and armed forces deployed around the world. It will be positioned at 13.2° E longitude and has a design life of 15 years.
Astra 3B, a European (Luxembourg) communication satellite, was launched from Kourou on 21 May 2010 at 22:01 UT. The craft weighed 5,472 kg and was launched by an Ariane 5 rocket. The satellite carries 60 Ku-band and four Ka-band transponders and is designed for the distribution of both direct-to-home broadcast services and two-way broadband services across Europe and the Middle East. It will be positioned at the increasingly important 23.5° E orbital position. Astra 3B has a design life of 15 years and will replace two aging satellites, Astra 1E and Astra 1G.
Unitec-1 a Japanese satellite, was launched from Tanegashima on 20 May 2010 at 21:58 UT, on-board an H2-A rocket. It was launched into a Venus transfer orbit along with Akatsuki. It has the following engineering objectives: on-board computers will be tested in harsh space environment as a form of competition to see which will last longer; technologies to receive and decode very weak and low bit-rate signals coming from deep space will be tested; and, technologies to estimate the Doppler shift on the satellite based on the received RF signal will be tested.
IKAROS (Interplanetary Kite-craft Accelerated by Radiation Of the Sun) is a Japanese satellite launched on a H-2A rocket from Tanegashima on 20 May 2010 at 21:58 UT. IKAROS is an experimental solar sail. It will be the first solar-powered sail craft employing both photon propulsion and thin film solar power generation during its interplanetary cruise. IKAROS will be sent into Venus transfer orbit with Akatsuki and after separation will spin up to 20 rpm, deploying the thin membrane solar sail within several weeks. Acceleration and navigation using the solar sail will then be demonstrated within half a year.
Akatsuki, also called Planet-C or Venus Climate Orbiter, is a Japanese satellite launched on a H-2A rocket from Tanegashima on 20 May 2010 at 21:58 UT. It will study the planet's smothering, thick atmosphere from orbit. Akatsuki is the first interplanetary weather craft, according to Japanese space officials, and carries two short-wavelength infrared imagers that will observe low-altitude cloud patterns, chart the distribution of water vapor and carbon monoxide, and map the surface of Venus with a goal of finding active volcanoes. Akatsuki also carries a long-wavelength infrared camera and an ultraviolet instrument that will look at the super-rotating cloud structures in the upper atmosphere. The UV camera will also track sulfur dioxide. Another camera will snap frames 30,000 times per second with a wide field-of-view to hunt for lightning on Venus.
Objects A, B, and C are the Waseda-Sat2, Negai, and K-Sat satellites. A determination had not yet been made as to the identification of the individual satellites.
Waseda-Sat2 a Japanese satellite was launched on a H-2A rocket from Tanegashima on 20 May 2010 at 21:58 UT. Waseda-Sat2 is a small satellite built by students of Waseda University. It features a camera for Earth observation.
Negai a Japanese satellite, was launched on a H-2A rocket from Tanegashima on 20 May 2010 at 21:58 UT. Negai is a CubeSat mission built by Soka University. It is a space verification of an advanced information processing system using commercial FPGA.
K-Sat a Japanese satellite, was launched on a H-2A rocket from Tanegashima on 20 May 2010 at 21:58 UT. K-Sat is a small CubeSat mission developed by the Kagoshima University. It has the following objectives: observation of atmospheric water vapor distribution, Earth imagery, high-speed communications and basic communications experiment for super-small positioning satellites.
STS 132 was the 34th space shuttle mission to the ISS. It is the 32nd and last mission of the Atlantis shuttle since 1985. Atlantis was launched from Cape Canaveral on 14 May 2010 at 18:20 UT. STS 132 docked with the International Space Station on 16 May 2010 at 14:28 UT. The shuttle carried six veteran astronauts and the Russian Mini-Research Module 1 to be attached to the Zarya module of the space station. Atlantis also carried maintenance supplies and spare parts on an integrated cargo carrier. The mission concluded with a landing at Cape Canaveral on 26 May 2010.

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 2F-1 (2010-022A).

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)

2010-019A(36572)     STS 132                           26 May
2010-018B(36522)     SL-04 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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